Daily Archives: 20 January 2012

french fridays with dorie: quatre-quarts

A perfect cake! It’s easy, it’s elegant, and it’s delicious. This is a perfect cake for snacking on over tea with friends on a lazy afternoon. A sliver of this cake is a perfect end to a breakfast that was missing “something”. A wedge of this cake is the perfect to send home in a doggie bag with an expected dinner guest. This cake is also a perfect excuse to use my cake dome.

Dorie says this is the sort of cake that’s common on most French homes. I wish I were French. I was trying to remember if there was a go-to cake that my mother always had around when I was growing up. I think the go-to baked snacks at our house trended more towards brownies (always from a mix) and Toll House cookies.

Mom in 2002

My mom did make a signature cake, a chocolate chip cake. It wasn’t a fancy cake. She served it from its 13×9 metal baking pan, merely sprinkled with powdered sugar. But, we only had it for special occasions. The funny thing is that one reason I think she only made it for special occasions was that you had to separate the eggs, beat the whites separately and fold them in, just like in this everyday French cake. Maybe our cake was French after all.

Even with the step to beat the egg whites, this was a snap to put together. The only advice I have is to break the egg whites over a separate bowl one at a time and then transferring the white to the bigger bowl. Normally, I do this. I don’t know why I didn’t the day I made this. Unfortunately, the third egg yolk broken (which never happens to me), ruining my bowl of whites, so I had to start over with new eggs. (That means I have two extra egg yolks in the fridge. Any suggestions on what to use them for?)

I used dark rum in my cake, and I loved the extra zing it gave over the more pedestrian vanilla. The friends who came over to tea suggested trying other liqueurs for the rum, maybe kirsch for some subtle cherry flavor. That sounds interesting. I sprinkled the top with the granulated brown sugar left over from the crème brulees. As in that recipe, the sugar didn’t melt as expected, so I’ll try turbinado, which melted better on my custards, the next time I make this cake.

This cake might be simplicity itself, but I know the other bloggers for French Fridays with Dorie are bound to put their own twist on things. For more ideas, check out their posts on the FFwD site.