Years ago I bought a French dessert book in Walt Disneyworld's Epcot. In the France pavilion. It was a book by Dorie Greenspan, on which I had an eye on for a while. I would have never thought I'd buy this French-inspired book in the heat of Florida. Dorie Greenspan bundles a collection of recipes from the best pâtisseries of Paris in this witty, well-explained book. I love the simplicity of the illustrations in the book. Paired together with sensational recipes, is sure to make it one of my favorite cookbooks!
I was browsing through the recipes I made last year, and I noticed my brown sugar pound cake was the most popular online. Not surprising. Who doesn't love the simplicity of a pound cake? A true classic. I immediately thought of a recipe in Dorie's 'Paris Sweets' book. Lemon Cake or Cake Citron. A recipe adapted from pâtisserie Arnaud Larher. I have made the orange cake version before, which was a stunner of a cake! So today, with not-so-summery weather, I baked a summer lemon pound cake.
The texture of this pound cake, is what makes it one of the best pound cakes I have ever tasted/baked. It has such a smooth and sturdy texture. You can even see the patrons of your cake knife when you cut it. It is very dense and scented.
Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5+ out of 5
Overall appeal: 5 out of 5
Lemon Cake: Dorie Greenspan - 'Paris Sweets' - adapted from pâtisserie Arnaud Larher
- 2 ¼ cups cake flour (250 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar (335 grams)
- Grated zest of 3 lemons or 2 oranges
- 5 large eggs
- ⅔ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream (165 grams)
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (for the lemon cake) or Grand Marnier (for the orange cake) (30 grams)
- 7½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (3¾ ounces; 110 grams)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch (22.5 x 12.5 x 7.5-cm) loaf pan, dust the interior with flour, and tap out the excess. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two stacked regular baking sheets and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and keep close at hand. Toss the sugar and zest together in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, beating until the mixture is pale and foamy, then whisk in the crème fraîche and rum. Switch to a large rubber spatula and gently stir the sifted flour mixture into the batter in three or four additions—the batter should be thick and smooth. Finally, fold in the cooled melted butter in two or three additions.
- Immediately spoon the batter into the pan and slide the baking sheet(s) into the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry and free of crumbs. (Check the cake at the 40-minute mark. If it is browning quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent for the remainder of the baking period.) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack before turning it out of the pan; invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
- Keeping: Wrapped airtight, the cake will keep for 1 week at room temperature or up to 1 month in the freezer. Stale cake is delicious lightly toasted and spread with marmalade.
- An American in Paris: I’ve used this recipe to make a wonderful vanilla cake. I substitute the pulp of 2 plump, fragrant vanilla beans for the zest and rub the pulp into the sugar just as the zest is rubbed in. Keep the rum in the recipe—it’s lovely with the vanilla.