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Savory French “quick bread”-type cakes a la “Les Cakes de Sophie”
Posted: 24 October 2011 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, all!

I have been loaned this book (Les CAkes de Sophie)—it’s all in French—by a friend at work.

It’s full of these “cakes” (that look more like quick breads)—some are sweet; others are savory and made with cheeses and vegetables and such—the savories are called “salt cakes.” 

Has anyone heard of these?  My friend says his always fail in one way or another.

If you have experience with these—do you have any general advice, such as what sort of flour to use) or any sort of anything?

Many thanks!

—ak

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Posted: 24 October 2011 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Is this the book?

http://www.amazon.com/Cakes-Sophie-Dudemaine/dp/2830705912/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319509487&sr=8-1

The cake on the cover looks good.

Having just borrowed and baked some of the cakes from the French Culinary Institute, I have seen they are different from the cakes we bake here ( at least mine was) My husband, having been to Europe recognized the taste and texture from the pastry he ate there.

When it came to cakes, the one technique which was consistent in the book was to beat the butter, gradually add the sugar and then remove the bowl from the stand mixer and incorporate the flour using a wooden spoon.

The crumb of my cakes matched the pictures in the book. They were considered a medium crumb, not fine like crumb we usually obtain.

Gee, I would love to try one of those recipes but, as you can see, a new copy is $355   gulp

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Posted: 25 October 2011 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I would guess they’re using Type 55 flour, which is unbleached and roughly equivalent to our all-purpose flours of the higher protein ranges.  Our cake flour probably wouldn’t provide enough structure.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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FG - thank you so much!  Yes, that is the book—it’s very pretty!!!  Thanks for the mixing tip—your description of the crumb fits these perfectly, so I will definitely give him this mixing info!  I plan to try one, also.

Charles—Much appreciate re the flour!  It does mention “55” with “semoline” in a sort of quote, so I’m sure that’s what they’re intending.  Thank you for the equivalence to AP!!

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Posted: 25 October 2011 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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FG—BTW—Did you happen to notice any special mixing instructions for the savory ones that used oil and didn’t use sugar?  Thanks!!

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Posted: 25 October 2011 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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If you want a truly authentic result, you could take a look at the specialty french flours sold over at L’epicerie.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Anne in NC - 25 October 2011 02:49 PM

FG—BTW—Did you happen to notice any special mixing instructions for the savory ones that used oil and didn’t use sugar?  Thanks!!

I didn’t because I wasn’t going to make them and I returned the book BUT I have to go to the library later this week and I will borrow it again and let you know.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Anne, I have most of Julia Child’s books, including Baking With Julia.  What do you want to make? I can look up her instructions for you.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thank you, Julie!!  I passed along the link to the flour page of that web site.

FG, thanks!  I think he’s just looking for general information—of the type that and others have given—that will help improve his results. 

That said, I’m thinking of making two of them for his birthday (since he loaned me the book)—possibly a walnut/raisin/gyrure (spelling) one (for savory) and a pineapple/rum one (for sweet).  Or pear almond for sweet.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Anne, are these loaves or tarts or something else?  I did a search for “gyrure” and cannot find what that is.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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They’re loaves.  The “gyrure” is a cheese—and you can’t find it, because I spelled it wrong and was too lazy to look it up!!  It’s actually spelled Gruy?re.

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Posted: 25 October 2011 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Oh, okay. Yes..it’s similar to Swiss.I use it all the time in Gratins.

Here is an example of technique. If you need other examples, I will have the book on Thursday, if that is okay:

I happen to photostat a loaf recipe from The French Culinary Institute (lemon cake)

They sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

Combine eggs and sugar with a wooden spoon and then stir in the liquid (cream in this case).

Add the flour mixture stirring just to combine and then “quickly” stir in melted butter.

Bake 20 minutes @ 325 (this recipe uses a 9x5 pan) then slice top down center.

Continue baking 40 min.

Just before cake is finished, prepare a glaze.

Let cake cool 10 min but do not turn off oven

Unmold cake and place on baking pan-pour warm glaze over cake and allow to soak in

When glaze is soaked in, return cake to hot oven and bake 10 minutes longer

Tips:

Do not whip eggs and sugar as too much air will be incorporated into batter giving baked cake an undesirable texture

The interior of the cake should be moist and not too crumbly

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Posted: 25 October 2011 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Flour Girl - 25 October 2011 04:08 PM

photostat

Wow, I haven’t heard that term in 30 years.  wink

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Posted: 25 October 2011 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I swear, I’m not 90 LOL  LOL

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Posted: 25 October 2011 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks so much, FG!!!  If you happen to notice technique on any that don’t involve sugar, I’d love to hear it!!!  All this is so helpful.  These instructions are all in French, and, even though I can read them (and he is fluent), not everyone is as specific as everyone else!

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Posted: 25 October 2011 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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From this Times story…

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/dining/14cake.html

it appears there is an english version of the book which might make things more clear.

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