Today was a shit show in my house. Lots of running around. Miles wouldn’t nap. I couldn’t run, although I had every intention to do so. I cleaned minimally and did just one load of laundry. However, I did embark on the making of this pound cake so I suppose it wasn’t all a wash. Saturdays have become extremely hectic in my household. Where some families are resting, we are always running around. I should have known it would be an adventure today solely based on the behavior Miles displayed at Whole Foods this morning. Anyways, this cake is very straight forward for a pound cake and hard to “f” up really, so it should be an easy to whip up adventure for any day that you have a free hour or two. I always beat my eggs first prior to adding the sugar. The trick here is to really whip them into a frenzy. Then when you add the sugar, let them go for five minutes or so. The texture will look almost like whipped cream. That fantastic air is what makes your recipe shine. Once your egg/sugar mixture is whipped properly, add the flour and fold gently. Scoop your spatula around the bottom of the bowl and literally fold it onto the top. Do not mix with a passion here people, you will deflate your product and the end result won’t have that magical fluffiness to it. Then carefully add your butter/cream/lemon/poppy mixture and use the same technique. Careful. Be careful. Slow and steady with that folding. Make sure everything is well mixed. Into the pan it goes. Thump it on the counter a few times to get all the air bubbles out as well as even out the batter on the top. Wow, doesn’t it look beautiful? To answer your question, yes, it tastes as yummy as it looks. Hint of lemon, a little sweet with a nutty finish from the poppy seeds. It is moist, light and great with a nice hot cup of tea.
FRENCH LEMON-POPPY POUND CAKE
2 Cups Cake Flour
¾ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
½ Cup + 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to slightly warm
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
3 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
1 ¼ cups Granulated Sugar
For the Lemon Glaze
½ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick liquid. If the butter hardens into little lumps, heat the mixture gently until the butter melts again. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment beat together the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and lemon colored.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg-flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture just until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the middle. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
To make the lemon glaze: While the cake is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough of the lemon juice to make an easily spreadable, smooth glaze.
When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, pop it out of the pan and place it on the rack. Spread or spoon the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, letting the glaze dribble down the sides.