Monday, May 2, 2011

Best Cake Ever

After last night's Storzapretis debacle (I'm still mad), I knew I'd have a meltdown if I cooked anything too complicated today, so I decided to make this week's French Fridays With Dorie selection: Tourteau de Chevre (pg 449).

Dorie paints a very fuzzy (though enticing) picture of this cake. She says that she couldn't identify it when she first saw one in a cheese shop, and can't determine if it's better as dessert or as something served before dinner, with drinks. She says it's a cheese cake, but not like an American cheese cake--more like a dry sponge cake made with goat cheese. This murky description caught my eye when I first read through the book, but I've been avoiding the dessert section (no self-control), so I hadn't tried it yet. By the decree of French Fridays With Dorie, I must turn the page into desserts. I'll try to refrain from sticking my face in the cake, but I make no promises.

The sweet tart dough (pg 500) gave me a little trouble, because big chunks kept falling off while I was rolling it. I was tempted to add a splash of water to make it stickier, but instead, covered the dough in plastic wrap and then rolled it. That worked beautifully, because the plastic wrap helped it smoosh together. Yes, smooshed is the technical term.

The cake batter is wacky, comprised totally of goat cheese, eggs, vanilla, corn starch, and confectioner's sugar, but it came together pretty easily. The only part that threw me was that I wasn't sure when to stop folding the egg whites into the rest of the batter. It still looked a little lumpy, but I thought I'd messed with it enough and stopped folding. I could have used a quick sentence indicating what the texture should be.

Baking, this cake smelled like Christmas cookies. My Mom's pecan sandies, to be specific, though I'm not sure why, since it hardly shares any of the ingredients. The smell was cozy and vanilla-ey and good.
My favorite color is officially "Baked Goods Brown."
Everyone should bake and eat this cake. Now. It's not savory at all. Dorie's intro made me think it would be more ambiguously dessert vs. cheese. I definitely vote this to be a dessert. Sweet, but not too sweet, vanilla-ey (as the smell promised), with a nice crisp crust on the bottom. The texture was odd, and I can't think of a single thing to equate it with. Lighter and airier than a NY style cheesecake, creamier than a flour cake. It's a comforting dessert that doesn't sit in your stomach like a lead balloon. Huzzah!
I threw some fruit on top. That almost makes it healthy, right?
Conclusion: If you can't already tell, I adore this cake. Love, love, love.


  1. Ciao ! i love your pictures ! Happy you loved it !

  2. Anything with fruit attached to it is health food in my book. Glad you enjoyed!

  3. Your cake looks great! I like your description that it smelled like pecan sandies. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to your future cookbook reviews!

  4. I like how the top of your cake blackened like in Dorie's description. Your oven must be HOT, girl! And yes, those fresh fruits do make the tourteau healthier ;-).

  5. HA! Yes, my oven looks like it stepped out of 1972, and it runs hot and cooks unevenly. This is probably the one and only cake on earth that I could bake in it without staring through the window to pounce if it starts to get too dark.

  6. I share your exact sentiment. I brought the cake to work just so that I wouldn't eat all of it by myself. Love it!

  7. After nearly single-handedly eating half of the cake in 2 days, I sent the remainder to work with my husband. One of his colleagues emailed me to say how good it was, so I'm glad that they enjoyed it as much as me. Makes me feel better about not keeping it. I'm very possessive of my baked goods! lol

  8. Lovely post- I enjoyed reading your sentiments and reactions. I also was intrigued by reading Dorie's description of the whole thing - although I can honestly say that if I saw some charred item at the back of a cheese shop in Paris I would probably not have tried it :) Nana and I had fun making this one together (ok, she brought the pastry over ready made by her :) and we both gave it thumbs up. Amazing how difficult it is to describe -this week was a true adventure. Also nice that you got a thank you email from a grateful belly- that would have put me over the moon !

  9. Your cake looks perfectly browned. I had trouble rolling out this crust too. Last time I made this crust, I pressed it into the pan. I'll that next time. It's just too dry to roll, or I'll add some water.