FFwD: Quatre-quarts

        This week’s French Friday with Dorie assignment is a lovely French version of a pound cake.  It was a quick and easy cake to mix up.  Dorie describes this as a cake French mothers bake for their children as an after-school snack.  It seemed to me to be a nice cake for afternoon tea or coffee with a neighbor.

           Not too much to say.  This recipe gave me a chance to use the whisk attachment on the Kitchen Aid that I inherited from my mother-in -law.  I haven’t used the Kitchen Aid much as it seemed more complicated than my Sunbeam mixer and it is a little more difficult to add ingredients or use a spatula with the narrower Kitchen Aid bowl.  Now that I’ve used it a few times it doesn’t seem so complicated.  And wow the bowl sounds like a gong when you hit it with a wooden spatula.

I used vanilla.  As I was gathering ingredients I discovered that I was out of parchment paper and I just couldn’t go to the grocery store again so I used one of my old cake pans that has a moveable piece that helps to loosen the cake from the pan.  While I’m not sure about my oven (note to self: buy an oven thermometer) I did have to leave the cake in the oven for a little over 30 minutes.

So there I was in the late afternoon alone in a quiet house with a cake with one slice cut, dinner organized, the table set, roast chicken for les paresseux in the oven and absolutely nothing that had to be done for at least an hour.  It was a perfect     time to make a cup of tea and sit and just be.  It was a perfect moment of peace and I spent it wondering what everyone else would say about this cake and how you would make it your own.  I can hardly wait to find out what you did.

          I do have a question.  Do you write notes in your cookbook as you complete a recipe?  I find it hard to write in a book (all that early training) but you all have such wonderful ideas and suggestions and I’d like to be able to remember them when I come back to make the recipe again.

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8 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I write all over my cookbooks, crossing out ingredients, adding suggestions & tips for next time. For example, by this recipe I noted that it took 30 minutes to bake and that I should try raw sugar for the topping next time instead of brown. I also put a review by each recipe to indicate if it is worth making again. If you’re hesitant, maybe start with pencil or even sticky notes.

  2. nana

    Your cake looks wonderful. I am always trying to decide whether it is worth pulling
    my big mixer out or using the hand mixer. I really should just leave it on the counter,
    especially since Tricia has signed us up for Tuesday’s baking blog. We both thought
    this was a lovely, simple recipe and we did enjoy it.

  3. Teresa

    Your cake looks beautiful. I think of cookbooks as tools and unless they have the sort of glossy paper that makes writing impossible, notes are part of any well-loved one.

  4. I have a difficult time writing in most of my books (especially the ones that were hard to find or out of print), but will write notes on a piece of paper and insert into the book. Your cake looks really delectable.

  5. Moments peace are a beautiful thing. Take them where you can get them 🙂
    I am an inveterate note writer in my cookbooks. It was tough at first (I am the type of person who is horrified when I see a broken binding on a book), but it seems to be the only way to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. They also add a certain charm

  6. I consider my cookbooks, my music books, and other books I use for study as workbooks. They are all the better for my notes. And making recipes my own, that is, what works for me and my family is what I want to remember. I don’t sell my cookbooks, and even if I did, notes are charming…and if I pass one along to one of my kids, they also appreciate my notes. And I rarely find a cookbook with errors. Those need to be permanently fixed…such as Dorie’s speculaas recipe with a missing ingredient. I have some books from my great grandmother with her handwritten notes…those notes are a treasure to me…the very best part of her books. Nice post…and you’ll get to love your Kitchenaid. (You can tell the recipe books I love and use the most as they have the most notes sticking out of them and they are worn…they are my friends.)

  7. Liz

    Beautiful cake!!!

    I will occasionally jot the date and a comment in my cookbook…usually in pencil. My cookbooks are often splattered so a little writing is no big deal 🙂

    I finally found that using Bakers’ Secret spray is the way to keep my cakes from sticking to the pan. It’s a combination of grease and flour…I could only find it at Walmart.

    PS…thanks for your sweet condolences.

  8. I’m with you on the writing in books – I usually take the Culinary Diva approach – a sticky note in the white space – but I really, really should write in them!

    I love your idea about the raw sugar – I think that would be perfect. What a lovely day you described!!!

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