Posted by: marthabernie | October 5, 2014

BAKING WITH JULIA – LEMON LOAF CAKE – Reposted

Here is a post from a couple of years ago….

========================================================================================Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of renowned and beloved chef, Julia Child.  She was born Julia McWilliams here in Pasadena, California, where I live and work, and one of the attorneys in my office suggested we have a pot luck today with the emphasis on French cooking.  The reactions were interesting because not everyone has dabbled in the French culinary arts.  One person even commented that she cannot cook at all, much less cook French, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.  I myself am getting up early to bake a French Apple Cake, which is not exactly a cake, not exactly a custard and not exactly a clafouti.  More on that shortly.

I own only one of Julia Child’s cookbooks, Baking with Julia, which was actually written by Dorrie Greenspan with recipes taken from the PBS series of the same name.  Many of the recipes are quite involved and take nearly all day to make, but over the years I have made one favorite for just about any occasion you can think of. It’s texture is that of a classic pound cake, but it’s made in just five minutes using the same sponge technique you’d draw on for a genoise.  Recipe below.

LEMON LOAF CAKE

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

4 large eggs at room temperature

1-1/3 cups sugar

pinch of salt

Grated zest of 3 large lemons

1-3/4 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

5-l/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Position a rack in the center of the oven and prehet the owen to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.  Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt for just a minute, unti  foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken.  Whisk in the grated zest. Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture.  Whisk lightly, there is no need to beat.  Sift the flour into the eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated.  Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture.  Switch to a rubber spatula and gently and quickly fold in the melted butter.

Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  It will level itself.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center of the cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove the cake to a cooling rack to rest for ten minutes before unmolding.  Cool to room temperature right side up on a rack.

You can serve this cake as soon as it cools, although there are those who believe that a pound cake needs a day to ripen.  Make a taste test for yourself.  In any case, the cake should be sliced with a serrated knife and served in thin slices, two slices to a plate.

Once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  It will keep at room temperature for 3 or 4 days or, if double wrapped, can be frozen for a month.  Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

NOTES:  I like to eat this loaf toasted for breakfast; or for dessert with whipped cream and fruit; or with a little lemon curd and whipped cream.  The only way this loaf will not turn out is if you over mix the egg mixture or over bake it in the oven.

Enjoy!


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