“So most of my sweet recipes are those of very simple French household cooking, ‘recettes de bonne femme‘, as they say, which is not to imply that they are carelessly concocted or coarsely flavoured but just very straight-forward in conception and very restrained in decoration.”
‘French Provincial Cooking’, Elizabeth David, Cookery Writer, 1913 – 1992
Julia always brings cake. It is one of the highlights of the holiday. After a relaxing lunch, mulling over life, Jim makes the tea and we sit munching through the selection of cakes Julia has made. And she is very good; Elizabeth David would definitely have approved.
Try this dessert, which Elizabeth suggests “is equally good for dessert or for tea-time” and is always a pleasure to eat.
3 oranges, juice and grated zest * 30g (1oz) plain flour * 140g (5oz) ground almond * 1tbsp almond essence * 4 eggs, separated * 140g (5oz) sugar * ½tsp salt * 185ml (6 floz) double cream * 1 tsp icing sugar * ½tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Mix together the orange juice, orange zest, plain flour, ground almonds and almond essence. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until almost white. Add to the almond mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the mixture. Grease a square cake tin with butter and pour the mixture into it. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and then leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the crème chantilly: Put the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a chilled bowl. Whisk until soft peaks form. When the cake is cold, turn it out, slice and dollop the crème chantilly on top. Serve.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
Perfect after: click on image