Strawberry Shortcake: Visitandine #French Fridays with Dorie

I’ve always had unusual relationships with nuns. They either saw the light of Jesus in me or thought I was a “daughter of the devil”. I either was very devout in their eyes or… I asked too many questions and had no faith at all.

I really didn’t want to provoke the nuns who taught me catechism. I think I was just a bit too eager. You see after looking at my catechism book and seeing all the beautiful pictures of saints. I decided I wanted to be a saint. Yes, I really wanted to be a saint… I just loved their halos, and I knew that the only way I was going to get a halo was to become a saint.

As I got older and learned about the lives of the saints, I realized that I would probably need to die a violent death in the name of God in order to become one… this did not appeal to me.  I gave up on the idea of a getting a halo; and got highlights instead… golden hair was pretty cool too!

Why am I rambling on about nuns? Well, this cake the Visitandine is named after a very old French religious order of cloistered nuns. They most likely sold this cake in order to support themselves.

When you taste this cake you will not be surprised that it is based on a nun’s recipe. It is light and heavenly… truly. This cake reminds me of Madeline cookies… and we know she had an interesting relationship with nuns too.


 I changed the preparation of this cake substantially, because I just don’t see the point of whipping eggs if you are going to deflate them…etc. Also because I was making this cake in a large flat pan (because I only own one springform pan) I decided to top it with berries and a glaze. So what follows is my version of Visitandine. I hope I don’t get in trouble with any nuns for changing the recipe… but if I do, I won’t be surprised.

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 I changed the preparation of this cake substantially, because I just don’t see the point of whipping eggs if you are going to deflate them…etc. Also because I was making this cake in a large flat pan (because I only own one springform pan) I decided to top it with berries and a glaze. So what follows is my version of Visitandine. I hope I don’t get in trouble with any nuns for changing the recipe… but if I do, I won’t be surprised.

Strawberry Shortcake: Visitandine

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Visitandine found in “Around My French Table.”

Ingredients:

the whites of 4 large eggs
3/4 cup of flour
2/3 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
7 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
16 ounces of fresh ripe strawberries sliced
1 tablespoon of red currant jelly
fresh whipped cream

Directions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment. Spray cooking spray over parchment and sides of pan. (You can use any size springform pan you have. A smaller one may take a little longer to cook and a larger one less time.)

3) With the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer whip the egg whites until they hold firm peaks. (I used a stand mixer so I transferred the whipped eggs to a chilled metal bowl, so I can mix the rest of the ingredients with the stand mixer.) Put whipped eggs aside.

4) With the paddle attachment mix on medium high the sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla extract. Scrap the sides of the bowl down and slowly add the flour on medium-low speed.

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5) With a large spatula fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.

6) Pour batter into cake pan. Spread evenly and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden and the cake starts to move away from the sides of the pan.

7) Let cool for 5 minutes and then flip on to a cooling rack. Remove parchment paper. Let cool completely.

8) Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the cake. Heat the jelly for a few seconds in the microwave. Brush the strawberries lightly with the jelly. Don’t put too much glaze on, you don’t want the cake to get soggy. Do this just before you are going to serve the cake. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

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