Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In the Mail :: Brown Butter Lemon Pound Cake

My sister's birthday was yesterday!  To celebrate, I wanted to surprise her and send her a home baked birthday treat.  So this weekend, I did a little research on freezing and mailing desserts, and read that cakes rich in butter freeze and defrost perfectly.  So I thought: pound cake!  Perfect! Who doesn't love a rich, buttery loaf of cake? :-)

This month's Gourmet Magazine has a delicious recipe for a brown butter pound cake, and I of course, couldn't resist.  I ♥ brown butter! It's so simple, but it completely changes the flavor of the butter, it becomes deliciously nutty.  I also had a pile of lemons so it turned into a lemon zest brown butter pound cake.

I made two loafs, one for A. and I to try, and one I froze and overnighted to my sister in Boston.   It arrived perfectly thawed and moist, ready to be cut and enjoyed, right on time for her b-day! 


PS: Happy Birthday, N.! 

BROWN BUTTER LEMON POUND CAKED (adapted from Gourmet Magazine)
2 sticks of butter, unsalted
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Preheat the oven to 325F and butter your loaf pan (or 2 mini loaf pans).  Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan until the solids on the bottom of the pan brown.  You want them to be a dark chocolate brown.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Beat together the brown butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add 1 egg at a time and continue to beat until fully mixed.  Add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest and mix at low speed.

Transfer the batter into the pans and rap on counter until the batter settles.  Bake until golden brown (between 1 - 1.5 hours) until a wooden pick comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then another hour out of the pan on a rack.

TO MAIL:  When the cake has cooled, wrap it in parchment paper and put the loaf in the freezer on a rack.  When the cake has frozen solid, about 2 hours, wrap it in aluminum foil or place in a freezer safe Tupperware (leave the parchment paper on).  When you are ready to mail, you can put the cake pan back in the loaf pan (this helps protect it in the mail) and re-wrap it in the paper and aluminum.  Place the loaf in a mailing box and fill any extra space with packing paper/peanuts to prevent movement and mail overnight.  

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