FFWD – Visitandine


Baking attracted me more than cooking when I was a kid. The logic and simplicity of baking’s chemistry provided a calm, reliable oasis in the chaotic landscape of childhood. The playground was a battlefield, but the kitchen was a refuge for a shy, bookish kid. And the results of my baking experiments pleased everyone around me as much as myself.

I cooked, too, according to the instructions my mother left each day for the gap between the end of the school day and my parents’ arrival home, but it was only as a young adult that I really began to blossom as a cook. Even then, baking was what I was known for. It still is, really. Meetings and gatherings are an excuse for me to make cookies and squares, cakes and loaves – they smooth the path toward decision-making and community-building. And social occasions are really all about eating together, aren’t they?


I’ve found over the years that people are impressed by elaborate desserts, but it’s the simple ones they remember and ask for again. This week’s recipe is just that sort of dessert, a white cake that relies on whipped egg whites for leavening and bakes into a sturdy shortcake-like round. It’s not heavy, though, the crumb is tender and able to soak up whatever topping you choose to serve with it. In this case, homemade lemon curd. In the summer, the cake makes a perfect vehicle for strawberries and cream. In winter, you could bake two layers, soak them in melted jam, then ice with crème fraîche whipped cream. As Dorie says in her introduction to this recipe, you can pair this cake with almost anything you can think of.

Best of all, it’s one of those recipes that are perfect for clearing the mind, while feeding body and soul.


You can find a version of this week’s recipe here.

See how the rest of the French Fridays crew served their cake: Visitandine


21 thoughts on “FFWD – Visitandine

  1. Yes! Making baked goods is good for the soul as is sharing the baked goods! Lemon curd is perfect with this AND a great use for the extra yolks. What a lovely post!

  2. I bake to please other people and get connection to them when I need it. There is no denying the magnetic force of a good cake. I cook to please me. Its whats in my own head and anyone can come to the party. But its my script. I do love what you did here. And I’m only kinda partially talking about the cake.

  3. Teresa, I am a lemon lover – next time I make this lovely, simple cake, I will remember to make some – this is such a wonderful and versatile recipe, I am sure that many of us will bake it again with lots of variations as to the “sides” and “toppings”.
    Have a great Sunday!

  4. Beautiful post Teresa and beautifully written! Baking is my favourite too I cook every day lunch and dinner but my heart flutters with joy when I know that I am about to make a cake. I love the photos you capture the simplicity of the cake perfectly. Have a great week!

  5. Nicely written. There is gratification in being able to pour yourself into something with the intended result of sharing it with others.

    (I like that lemon curd recipe – I have used it a few times and it makes me happy to not leave any orphan egg whites behind)

  6. Food (and especially dessert) does have a great way of bring people together. Your home made lemon curd looks absolutely delicious.

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