Pound cake – or quatre-quarts as I prefer to call it, as it more aptly reflects the proportions of the ingredients – is one of the easiest cakes to bake. Four quarters: there are only four basic ingredients and they are mixed together in equal parts. Once a couple of years ago I only just came back from holidays, having driven across half of France and around the M25 (the latter much worse than the former) and thought I could quickly whip up some breakfastey cake thing, as we are lovers of plain cake for breakfast in my house. Hey presto: just bring the butter out of the fridge for half an hour so it comes to the room temperature, have some eggs – how many you have will determine the size of the cake – flour and sugar and we’re in business.
Great stuff: weigh out your eggs and then use the same quantities of the remaining three ingredients. Add raisins, add flavouring, add nothing and slice it in half when baked and slather the halves in jam, stir in some cocoa – basically it is the most wonderful cake base or a cake in its own right.
I saw this recipe in The Times on a Saturday a few weeks ago and immediately beamed inside thinking of the great combination of orange and a strong unusual flavour of lavender. It works well. With hindsight, I might have ground the dried lavender to a powder as chewing through the dried flowers isn’t that pleasant – but it’s certainly worth a try. The recipe’s authors are Konditor and Cook – the famous German patissiers.