In the past 25 years, limonana - a super-sweet lemonade drink with a dash of fresh mint leaves - has taken Israel by storm. The combination of lemon and mint is bright, lively, and refreshing, making it the perfect summer treat. This lemon chiffon bundt cake is inspired by limonana, and is also the perfect summer snack!
- For the cake:
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
- ¼ cup good quality olive oil
- Zest of 4 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- Juice of 4 lemons (¼ cup)
- ¼ cup lemon vodka or water
- Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean pod
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- For the candied mint leaves:
- 2 bunches fresh mint leaves
- 1 egg white
- ½ cup superfine (caster) sugar
- For the mint whipped cream:
- ½ cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons superfine (caster) sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- ¾ teaspoon mint oil, store-bought or homemade
1) Preheat the oven to 325° F. Spray a 7-inch bundt pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray and dust it lightly with flour.
2) In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ¾ cup of the sugar and set aside.
3) In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vegetable oil, lemon juice, vodka or water, lemon zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and whisk for about 1½ minutes, until smooth and thick.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or if you are using a handheld electric mixer, in a large mixing bowl), beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat for about 1 minute, gradually increasing the speed to high, until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat for about 2½ minutes at high speed until stiff peaks form and the eggs are stiff and almost dry.
5) Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter and gently stir to lighten the mixture. Add the next third, folding carefully, leaving some white streaks. Add the last third and fold gently until the last white streaks just barely disappear. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth the top. Bang the pan on the kitchen counter once. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is golden.
6) While the cake is baking, make the candied mint leaves: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the leaves on it in a single layer. With a pastry brush, brush the leaves very lightly with the egg white. Sprinkle with half the sugar, allow to dry for 5 minutes. Turn the leaves over, brush with the egg white, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and allow to fully dry.
7) Remove the cake from the oven and gently invert it, still in the pan, onto a cooling rack and let stand until fully cooled and the pan is cool enough to touch. Turn the pan right-side up. Run a knife between the cake and the side of the pan. Place a serving platter that is slightly wider than the pan over the cooled cake, so that the bottom of the platter faces up. Holding the pan with one hand and pressing the plate firmly onto the pan with the other, invert them so that the plate is on the bottom. Lift up the cake pan to reveal the cake.
8) Just before you are ready to serve, make the whipped cream: Using a stand mixer, electric mixer or whisk, pour the cream into a mixing chilled bowl. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. (If using an electric or stand mixer, beat the mixture on high for about 60 seconds.) Add the sugar, vanilla, and mint oil to the cream, and whip just to combine.
9) Serve slices of cake garnished with whipped cream and candied mint leaves.
Recipe credit: Tami Ganeles-Weiser