The opposite day, I used to be listening to an episode of Splendid Desk, certainly one of my favourite meals podcasts, and heard one thing that caught with me…
The visitor was Aleksandra Crapanzano, writer of Gateau: The Stunning Simplicity of French Desserts. She talked about how, in France, folks typically make snacking muffins to take pleasure in every day: “Having the ability to make a easy cake that they’ll nibble on all week, and simply while you need that chew of one thing candy, it’s there. That to me is that French residence cake. It means household, it means after college, it means seaside totes, and picnic baskets, and lengthy practice rides… It means all that.”
After the podcast, I instantly opened Aleksandra’s charming e-book to seek for a recipe that might make use of the apples I had simply picked up on the market, and it didn’t take lengthy to search out her Quatre-Quarts, or pound cake — which is really easy, she says, that it’s one of many two muffins French children memorize in pre-school. (The opposite is a traditional yogurt cake, additionally within the e-book.) It’s tender and buttery and endlessly adaptable. As she writes within the introduction, “The trick is having an arsenal of recipes that, as soon as realized, develop into mere blueprints… It seems simple as a result of it is simple.” Bought.
Quatre-Quarts (Pound Cake)
From Gateau: The Stunning Simplicity of French Desserts, by Aleksandra Crapanzano
“The shortage of a leavener equivalent to baking powder or baking soda is just not a mistake. It’s merely not wanted, as the eggs present the raise.” (For the apple pound cake, see variations under recipe.)
4 giant eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, ideally European, melted and barely cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
The grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon high quality sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.
Separate the eggs and allow them to come to room temperature. In a good-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks to interrupt them up a bit. Add the sugar and whisk till they’re thick and pale. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and lemon zest and whisk till clean. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula till no streaks stay.
Utilizing electrical beaters or in a stand mixer, beat the egg whites till they kind comfortable peaks. Add the salt and beat till they kind stiff peaks. Stir 1 / 4 of the whites into the yolk combination to lighten it. Then gently fold within the remaining egg whites into the batter.
Pour the batter into the ready pan and bake for 55 minutes, or till a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out practically clear. Enable the cake to chill for 10 minute within the pan, then take away to a wire rack.
Serve at room temperature. If not consuming the cake till later, permit it to chill all the best way to room temperature, then wrap it in plastic and retailer at room temperature.
Variations (there are dozens extra within the e-book)
Cinnamon Apple (proven in high photograph)
Scale back the vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder when including the melted butter. Add 2/3 cup chopped peeled apples to the batter earlier than folding within the egg whites. Think about including 1/2 toasted walnut items as properly.
Sadly chocolate chunks will sink, however you may add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter earlier than folding within the egg whites. Toss them in 2 teaspoons of flour earlier than including them. For a mocha model, add 2 teaspoons espresso powder when including the melted butter.
Exchange the lemon zest with the zest of 1 blood orange, and add 1 tablespoon of its juice or 2 teaspoons Solerno, a Sicilian liqueur produced from blood oranges.
P.S. Apple crisp and same-day simple peasant bread.