Sunday, January 09, 2011

Julia Child's Pound Cake (Le Quatre Quarts)

Le Quatre Quarts (Pound Cake)
One of my baking resolutions for 2011 is to find a go-to pound cake recipe!

I got a lot of great recipes from people who read the blog or follow me in Twitter, and I'm excited to try them over the course of a year.

I was thumbing through the second volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child since I got it for the holidays, and stumbled across a cake recipe called "Le Quatre Quarts." I knew that I would have to start with Julia!

It isn't quite exactly pound for pound on the ingredients, and the recipe does have a few interesting quirks. First of all it is only large enough for an 8" round pan, so if I made it again I'd have to work with the ratios to fill a bundt or loaf pan. (It might just need to be doubled). The most interesting thing was how it is mixed - first the eggs, sugar, and citrus zest. Then the flour. Then the butter, which has been whipped into a mayonnaise texture. I was skeptical but followed her exactly, and was pleased with the results.

The best part of the cake didn't end up in the served dessert - it domed up too much and had to be trimmed off, but that part was crackly and sweet. The rest of the cake had a fine crumb but wasn't dry. I made Julia's Creme du Citron from the next page to fill the middle of the cake, and it was like a creamy sweeter lemon curd.


JulieF1962 said...

This is my "go to" pound cake recipe. It is absolutely amazing.

Cheese Pound Cake
o 1 1/2 cups butter
o 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
o 3 cups sugar
o 6 eggs
o 3 cups flour
o 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together.
3. Add eggs one at a time.
4. Add vanilla and then flour slowly.
5. Pour into a bundt pan or Tube pan.
6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
7. IMPORTANT: Do not try and rush by cooking faster in a hotter oven.

Caroline said...

I'm glad you tried this, I would have been really skeptical with the unconventional instructions, but the cake looks great!