Last spring I was asked if I would like to be one of several to bake desserts for the "Grand Re-opening Gala of the Minnesota Governor's Residence". I didn't think about it very long -- I said "yes" almost immediately. The desserts I made consisted of French Chocolate Bouchons, French Canelés, and little Lemon Pound Cakes with Lemon Drizzle and French Lavender Bud Sprinkles.
That gala took place this past weekend. I considered my contribution to the event, of 50-plus individual servings, as little French bites.
• a recipe by Norman Love | BAKING WITH JULIA, written by Dorie Greenspan
NOTE: The recipe below uses one 9-inch-by-5-inch bread pan. I used eight 3 1/2-inch-by-2 1/2-inch pans and needed to adjust down my bake time.
FOR POUND CAKE:
• 4 large eggs, 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 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
FOR LEMON DRIZZLE:
• 1 cup Confectioners' sugar
• Fresh lemon juice
• Culinary lavender, optional
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan (see note above) and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
2. Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt for just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken. Whisk in the grated zest.
3. Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour into the eggs, mixing lightly--do not beat. Sift the flour over 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.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes, then unmold.
5. Place the Confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Add enough fresh lemon juice to make a good drizzling consistency. Spoon the lemon drizzle over the lemon cake. Sprinkle with lavender buds.
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