Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

One of my favorite combinations, lemon and ginger emphasize each other so well that each flavor is more vivid because of the presence of the other. Grating ginger can be a problem, especially if you don’t have a grater with small teardrop-shaped holes set at a diagonal to the metal. I love Microplane graters, but they just reduce fresh ginger to liquid. So, failing the right grater, just slice and finely chop the peeled ginger with a sharp stainless-steel knife. The mixing method here is adapted from large-scale bakery methods, meant to produce a perfectly smooth batter with a minimum of effort, thus giving the baked cake a tender, moist crumb.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons strained lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks/8 ounces/225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 (12-cup) tube or Bundt pan, buttered, coated with fine, dry bread crumbs, and sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray

Method

  1. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°F (160°C).
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir well by hand to mix. Add the butter. Beat the mixture on low speed with the paddle until the mixture is a smooth, heavy paste, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger. On medium speed, beat about ⅓ of the egg mixture into the flour and butter mixture. Beat for 1 minute.
  4. Stop and scrape the bowl and beater. Add half of the egg mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Repeat with the other half.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give the batter a final mixing. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  6. Bake the cake until it is well risen and firm and a toothpick or a small thin knife inserted midway between the side of the pan and the central tube emerges dry, about 1 hour.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert a rack over it. Invert and lift off the pan. Cool the cake completely on the rack.

Serving

This doesn’t really need any accompaniment, but some whipped cream or sliced fruit would dress it up.

Storage

Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage. Defrost the cake and bring it to room temperature before serving.

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