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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Quatre-Quarts - French version of a Pound Cake

Recently I have just discovered that the French version of a Pound cake is called Quatre-Quarts which means four-fourth. It's a traditional and popular cake of the French region of Britanny and as its name implies use the same quantity of the 4 ingredients.

There are many version of making a quatre-quarts ... from my significant other's simple home recipe to a more complicated one. So what's the big difference between the two of them ?

A Simple Quatre-Quarts (Pierre's recipe)

Preparation : 10 minutes
Baking : 1 hour
Makes : 1

Ingredients
  • Weight 4 eggs
  • Same weight for plain Flour, sugar and melted butter (salted)
  • 1 packet of baking powder (11 gram)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350 F)
  2. Lightly greased and flour one 9 inch round cake pan.
  3. Put all ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Stir till combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 55 - 60 mins or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove cake from its pan and let cool on a wire rack.

NOTE :

For a more raised and spongy textured quatre-quarts, use 1/3 corn flour and 2/3 plain flour

Quatre-quarts

(taken from Le Grand Livre des Desserts - Fior Editions)

Preparation : 25 minutes
Baking : 1 hour
Makes : 1

Ingredients
  • 250 g Butter, softened (salted)
  • 250 g Sugar
  • 2 tsp Lemon zests (chopped)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 250 g Self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 40 ml Milk
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F)
  2. Lightly greased and flour one 9 inch round cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in lemon zests and beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Use a spoon and stir in sifted flour and baking powder alternately with milk. Alternate flour and milk in 2 or 3 batches. Mix till well blended.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth out batter surface. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes before removing cake and letting it cool on a wire rack.
pound cake Creamed butter & sugarquatre-quarts
Conclusion

It's hard to decide which version I like better. The simple home recipe has a more dense texture and great butter flavour which is delicious with a cup of tea whereas the book recipe has more of a lemon flavour than butter. Even without adding the lemon zests, the aroma of the butter is not as intense as the home recipe. But it has a lighter cake texture.

quatre-quarts pound cake

The book recipe can be adapted to different versions.

  • Quatre-Quarts à l'orange (Orange Quartre-Quarts) Add 2 tbsp Orange zests (grated) to butter mixture and replace milk with 40 ml orange juice.
  • Quatre-Quarts à la noix de coco (Coconut Quartre-Quarts) Add 90 g Coconut (grated) into the mixture before mixing in flour and milk.
  • Quatre-Quarts aux noisettes (Hazelnut Quartre-Quarts) Mix 125 g Chopped Hazelnut before stirring in flour and dissolve 2 tsp Instant Coffee (powder) in the milk.
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