Two weeks ago, we spent a family day out to visit a lovely little village straddling the borders of county Galway and county Mayo in ireland: CONG.
Maybe you already heard about the movie “the quiet man” featuring the characters John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Cong was the filming location for this movie, and the village is now a tourist attraction.
For our visit, we planned to have a picnic, if we were lucky enough with the weather, because if you know a little bit about Irish weather, you know that the sun is not guaranteed, even in summer. You can wake-up with a beautiful sun and have heavy rain an hour later…but we are use to it now…and try to plan things in this way.
Plan A was the picnic in the garden, and plan B picnic in the car, and guest what???? we finished in the car. I just told you about sunny-rainy day (lol).
So among other foods I prepared, I baked a cake, always something sweet, you know me now!!!
I wanted a simple cake, easy to bake and easy to travel with, so i decided to go for a quatre-quart, baked in a loaf liner. Plus, if there one cake that is better the day after, it’s this one, trust me.
Quatre-quart is a kind of pound cake originated from France, to be precise Brittany. The name of the cake basically means that all the ingredients are weighed in equal proportions.
4 ingredients: eggs, flour, sugar and butter, plus optional a flavor of your choice (vanilla, rum, lemon zest…). You can use any butter, but if you want it the french way, it’s better to use salted butter, or unsalted butter with a little bit of salt added.
The method is simple, you weigh your eggs (without the shell), and weigh the same amount of the other ingredients. You also have to make sure that your cake is moist and fluffy, and for that you have to beat your ingredients well enough.
Here is the recipe:
– 3 large eggs, weighed without shell (181g for me)
– weigh the same amount of self-raising flour
– Weigh the same amount of butter
– weigh the same amount of sugar
– one pod of vanilla
– Preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius.
– put a non-stick loaf liner in your cake pan, or if you don’t need a loaf liner, just butter your pan and sprinkle it with flour.
– Melt the butter in a saucepan and set aside.
– In the bowl of an electrical mixer, put the eggs, sugar and the grains of the vanilla pod (little tip: save the pod to make a homemade vanilla sugar. You just have to put it in a jar, fill the jar with sugar, and let it infuse for a couple of days, and voila!). Beat beetwen 5 to 10 min, in maximal speed, the batter will be white and double in volume.
– Sift your flour, and slowly add it to the mixture (eggs-sugar), a few spoons at a time, and incorporate with a rubber spatula delicately (you don’t want the mixture volume to break, this is the important step to a fluffy cake). Stop just when the batter is well incoporated, you don’t want to overdo it.
– finish by incorporating the cool melted butter.
– Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake for 40 to 45 min, or until a stick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and dry.
– Let cool 5 min, and then remove from the tin.
– Let it cool completely on a cooling rack.
– Resist to the temptation to eat it, and wait until the next day. Let the magic happen and surprise you with a delicious and fragant cake.
I am still trying to find out how to have a cake with a big bump on top (lol), like the ones I use to see in many coffee shops, so if you have any idea, share please.
See you next time, and enjoy!