Visitandine, a simple French sponge cake with a 'pure butter-and-sugar' flavor was this week's assignment for French Fridays with Dorie. Apparently in the pastry shops in France, they are baked in madeleine molds, financier pans, small fluted tartlet pans or tins that turn out little mini muffins. Like her friend Claudine Martina, who gave her its recipe, Dorie however likes to bake hers in a pie plate and serve wedges of visitandine at teatime or layer them with jam, whipped cream and berries for a pretty and elegant dessert. In her words, this cake "is perfect plain or paired with jam, fruit, chocolate, citrus curds, cream, frosting or glaze." Taking her cue I decided to use it as a base for a caramel apple galette.. and that turned out to be quite a treat !
The recipe for Visitandine is quite similar to that of Financier. Brown the butter, add it to the mixture of flour, salt and sugar, add vanilla extract to it then stir in the egg whites which have been beaten until stiff peaks were formed. Now bake the cake in preheated oven and thats it. You are done. Though Dorie recommended baking the cake in a springfoam, layer cake, or fluted porcelain or glass quiche pan, I baked mine in the iron skillet.
I halved the recipe and baked in my 8 inch skillet for 30 minutes. Okay. The cake had actually started pulling off from the sides after 25 minutes.. but I let it sit in the oven for 5 minutes more... just in case... The extra baking time or the iron skillet might have made the cake a little biscuit-y. My husband however liked it ... infact he loved it so much that three of its wedges disappeared instantly.
|My Rustic Caramel Apple Galette with Visitandine-base|
Finally a word about the caramel apples. Well this is the first time I tried making it. Using the leftover sugar syrup from the candied lemon peel (that I made for the Julekake) was the sole motivation behind making the caramel. I know I did a clumsy job of it... but the flavors were simply awesome. The combination of citrusy sugar and sweet apples was a complete revelation ! Also pairing the cake and the caramel apples with the rum-scented pastry cream that I made from the leftover yolks from visitandine felt like a good idea. Overall this dessert was a hit in our house and we really liked it.
Visit French Fridays with Dorie to know what the other members thought about this cake. You can find the original recipe here For more such delicious recipes order your copies of Around my French Table and join the Doristas in this tasty adventure.