I made a cake yesterday, only to learn that I had actually eaten it many times before. Am I amnesic?
Let me rewind a little so you can get the full story, before thinking that I may have a memory problem. Yesterday night, we were having dinner with family friends and a chocolate mousse was the planned dessert we were set to bring. When I woke up, I was welcomed by not-yet-set mousse to accompany my donut holes--I can only indulge in those once every few years, so why not go all out?
My maman suggested we bring a visitandine cake to go alongside the mousse, to which I replied that although I remembered hearing a lot about it, I didn't think I'd ever had some.
Cue surprised look, in addition to "Are you kidding? You've had it dozens of times."
Now, my first thought was that I usually don't remember unmemorable desserts. The visitandine, though, has what it takes to be completely memorable: whipped egg whites for a fluffy texture, and ground almonds paired with lemon zest for a delectable taste. Memory loss, then? I think my childhood mind was so obsessed with the colors on cakes (my pink birthday cake, for one) that the simple-looking desserts didn't strike me as much, as amazing as they may have tasted.
With that in mind, I set out to bake the visitandine, anxious to re-taste this family staple. For those who know of financiers, the visitandine is often considered its ancestor and was created by the nuns of the Visitandine order. The visitandine, however, is often baked in a classic cake pan by many home bakers.
After a great dinner, I sunk my teeth into a wedge of cake. I still can't understand why I don't remember ever having it--it's delicious.
It packs a lot of flavor on its own, but is also a great accompaniment to fruit for the summer. Plus, it's absolutely easy to make, leaving extra time on your hands. You know, time to think about why you forget things all the time. Hmm. I forgot.
serves 6 to 8
zest of 1 lemon
5 egg whites
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, melted
1 c. flour
1 c. almond flour
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, setting a rack in the middle of the oven.
In a large bowl, rub sugar and lemon zest together until fragrant. Sift flour and almond flour into the bowl, and mix to combine.
Add melted butter and combine. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the almond mixture and stir to combine. Delicately incorporate the remaining egg whites.
Fold batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake 30 minutes. Cool before serving.
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