Michel Stroot's Little Round Pound Cakes
All-purpose flour, lightly
Spooned into measuring cups
Unsalted butter, softened
Lemon- the grated zest only
Pure vanilla extract
Quatre-Quarts or Four Quarters is the French name for this recipe. It
refers to the proportion of ingredients (one-quarter each butter,
sugar, eggs and flour). In France, the cake is served with afternoon
tea but rarely as dessert.
Source: CLASSIC HOME DESSERTS by Richard Sax Recipe by Michel Stroot,
pioneering spa chef at "The Golden Door in California" who is from
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 8 small ramekins,
custard cups or tiny loaf pans; sprinkle with sugar, shaking out the
excess sugar to leave a very fine coating. Place the pans on a baking
sheet; set aside. Sift the flour onto a sheet of wax paper; set aside.
2. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until
very creamy. Add the sugar and beat until very light, about 6
minutes. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla; add the egg yolks and
beat for about 2 minutes longer. Lower the speed to slow, add the
flour and beat just until nearly blended, about 15 seconds, no
longer. The mixture will be stiff and slightly hard to blend at this
point; don't OVERMIX.
3. In a bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt at high speed until
nearly stiff, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir a large spoonful of the whites
into the batter; fold in the remaining whites until blended. Again,
you'll have to work and chop the somewhat stiff mixture slightly in
order to blend in the whites, but don't overblend. Gently spoon the
mixture into the prepared remekins or pans, filling each about 2/3
4. Bake until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in
the centers emerges clean, usually about 45 minutes (the timing can
vary with the molds being used).
5. Transfer to a wire rack and cool briefly. Run the tip of a knife
around the sides of the cakes to loosen them from the ramekins;
unmold and cool completely on the rack. You can either wrap the cakes
in plastic wrap, or return them to their ramekins and seal the tops
with plastic wrap.
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