For this plush pound cake featured in this episode of Milk Street, Chris’ team took a cue from Rose Carrarini of Rose’s Bakery in Paris and replaced some of the wheat flour with almond flour, making the cake’s crumb extra tender and moist.Lemon-Almond Pound Cake
195 grams (11⁄2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan 4 large eggs, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided 241 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plus 54 grams (1⁄4 cup) white sugar 100 grams (1 cup) almond flour 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 14 tablespoons (13⁄4 sticks) salted butter, cut into 14 pieces, room temperature 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Coat a 9-by-5- inch loaf pan with cooking spray, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until combined; set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the lemon zest and 241 grams sugar on low until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add both flours, the baking powder and salt and mix until combined, about 10 seconds. With the mixer on low, add the butter a piece at a time. Once all the butter has been added, continue mixing on low until the mixture is crumbly and no powdery bits remain, 1 to 2 minutes.
With the mixer still running, add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix for about 10 seconds. Increase to medium-high and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, 1 to 11⁄2 minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice. The batter will be thick.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the surface, then sprinkle evenly with sliced almonds. Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven to 300°F. Continue to bake until the top is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean, another 30 to 35 minutes.
While the cake is baking, in a small saucepan over medium-low, heat the remaining 54 grams sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches a simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
When the cake is done, cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, then turn it upright. Using a toothpick, poke small holes in the surface at 1-inch intervals. Brush all of the lemon-sugar syrup onto the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours.
Notes: Don’t use cold butter or cold eggs. The butter must be softened to room temperature so it integrates into the sugar- flour mixture. And the eggs must be at room temperature, too, not chilled, so they don’t cause the butter to stiffen up when added to the mixer. Lastly, don’t rotate the cake as it bakes. Jostling the pan increases the chance the batter will deflate, resulting in a dense, underrisen cake.
Grating the lemon zest directly into the mixer bowl will allow you to capture the maximum amount of flavorful essential oils; rather than fish out the zest to then measure it, we usually just eyeball it. We finish the cake with a tangy-sweet lemon glaze, brushing it on while the loaf is still hot so the syrup is readily absorbed. Thanks to generous amounts of eggs and butter, this cake keeps well. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Visit 177MilkStreet.com for more information, and watch the episodes from past seasons here.