It is strawberry season. Time for strawberry shortcake, but I confess I do not like shortcake. Well I like the idea, I just don’t like the texture of the shortcakes. Shortcakes should taste like cake, but they taste like a biscuit to me, and I am not speaking of the English variety. Biscuits are savory. I was looking for a way around this dilemma, then jackpot! I found Visitandines at The Bitten Word. Since it is the season I think I found the perfect recipe. Visitandine with strawberries.
I had a miserable week last week. If I were not so addicted to blogging I would have rolled up my blog and turn off the lights. I made several really rookie mistakes. Chef Marcus Samuelson says, “Never make a new recipe with a new ingredient.” I did both. I have been wanting to try to use coconut sugar. I hear it is more healthy than cane sugar. While I do not have diabetes, I have read it does not spike your blood sugar. It seemed like a good idea to use it in a new coconut rice pudding recipe. The recipe called for coconut milk. Well it looked good, but tasted metallic; then the coconut sugar kicked in and my mouth started to swell. Does anyone remember Goldie Hawn in The First Wives Club? She got injections for her lips to be fuller. Well it was not that bad, but close. Second try, I decided to just add coconut into the rice pudding and the texture was all wrong. After several attempts I just gave up. Then I saw this French cake called Visitandine. I could not believe with four ingredients, six counting the flavoring and a pinch of salt could result into such a delicious outcome.
From my copious amount of reading the term Visitandine is often used interchangeably with Financiers, but they are not the same. From my reading the difference is Financiers are made with browned butter and almond flour. They are usually made into little brick-like pans that resemble gold ingot. Visitandines are made with all-purpose flour, sugar, egg whites, and flavoring, with melted butter and made in a pie pan or 9-inch cake pan. I have to give them a try since I fell in love with the little mini almond cakes I made from thanks to Jacques Pépin. Could brown butter be even better? I have to find out.
When you are mixing Visitandine, the batter pretty much looks like a hot mess. I was pretty worried since I had such bad luck with my other failures. The batter is not smooth like usual cake batter would be, but hang in there it all ends well.
I also have a pan that I have been unsuccessful in finding a recipe that produces the kind of cake that I would be proud to serve and talk about. I thought it would work for my version of Visitandines. I am pretty happy with the results.
Okay, I know I have been giving you a lot of strawberries, but it is the season and it is only for a short time so it is time to indulge if you want to eat fresh. If strawberries are not your favorite, I think you could fill these with anything you like.
For another Dorie cake try her Dorie’s Swedish Visiting Cake. It is simple and delicious. Thanks Dorie and The Bitten Word.
- 4 large egg whites, preferably at room temperature
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Mise en place ~ Gather ingredients.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Prepare your pan. I buttered my shortcake pan.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt; set aside.
- Whisk egg whites until they hold firm peaks, but are still glossy.
- Pour in the cooled melted butter and vanilla; stir until the ingredients are blended.
- Using a whisk, add in the whipped whites a third at a time. This will help lighten rather than adding all at once.
- Tap the pan gently to settle the batter.
- Bake the shortcakes about 20 minutes.
- If you are using a 9-inch pan then for 33 to 38 minutes, or until it is beautifully browned and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Mine pulled away from the sides at 20 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, run a blunt knife around the edge of the cake.
- Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 3 minutes; then invert the cake onto the rack,
- If you used a 9-inch pan remove the parchment; allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
I am taking these to