Friday, April 4, 2014

French Fridays with Dorie - Visitandine with Balsamic Strawberries


At this rate, I am too far behind in recipes to catch all the dedicated chefs in French Fridays with Dorie who are thundering down Around My French Table's home stretch, champing at the bit in anticipation of Dorie's next book.

Baking Chez Moi, Recipes From My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere promises to explore the fascinating world of French desserts (scheduled to be released October 28, 2014). I can tell you right now, I will NOT be exploring the fascinating world of French desserts with the new online cooking group once a week! I will buy the book, because I've truly enjoyed a majority of the recipes from Around My French Table, but I will cook along if I'm in need of dessert that particular week for a dinner party or gathering and have others who can share in the calories.

However, this week's Visitandine seemed relatively harmless with the way I've been eating lately, and with my dedicated work out schedule at my new gym. Trapper and I also walk much more these days since we moved to the bay, so I felt I could justify a few slices of this cake with Ina Garten's Balsamic Strawberries tumbled over the top.

Dorie describes Visitandine as a "simple, very white cake with an elegant small-grained-crumb, a lovely springy sponge, and a pure butter and sugar flavor that makes it perfect plain or paired with jam, fruit, chocolate, citrus curds, cream frosting, or glaze." She also suggests using it for a classic strawberry shortcake.

Visitandine with Balsamic Strawberries

The list of ingredients is short and sweet: 4 egg whites whipped to stiff peaks, 3/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 7 tablespoons melted butter (cooled), and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Ramp up the flavor with hints of caramel and hazelnuts by browning your butter (beurre noisette), which I did do for mine.


The batter doesn't ever become smooth. As Dorie warns, it does "clump together and look slightly hopeless." Don't worry, It all works out in the end. First whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, brown butter and vanilla, and then gradually incorporate the whipped egg whites.


Pour the batter into a buttered pie plate, with a parchment circle on the bottom, and bake the cake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Allow to rest on baking rack for 3 minutes in pie plate, invert onto baking rack, peel off parchment and allow to cool.

Lumpy Batter

The cake is perfectly fine on its own, but you can dress it up in so many ways, as referenced above...my original plan was balsamic strawberries and whipped cream, but I decided against the whipped cream for this morning's treat.


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French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!