Made from an airy sponge cake batter, these oversized lemon-scented pastries are baked until dark brown to impart a delectable crust at Belle Epoque Boulangerie in Antibes, France. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2012 issue along with Sylvie Bigar's story The Road to Paradise.
Enlarge Image Credit: Landon NordemanMAKES 8 SMALL CAKES
INGREDIENTS2 cups flour, plus more for pan
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
6 eggs, separated
20 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
INSTRUCTIONS1. Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour eight 5 ¾" x 3 ¼" x 1 ¾" mini loaf pans, and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar, vanilla, zest, and egg yolks on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until pale, tripled in volume, and mixture falls back in thick ribbons when lifted from beaters, about 6 minutes. Add flour mixture and butter, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold into batter until almost combined.
2. Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add ⅓ of the beaten egg whites to the batter and stir until smooth; add remaining whites and fold in gently until combined. Divide batter evenly among pans, and bake until deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, and then invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.