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A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Back by popular request...

This is one of my FAVOURITE cake recipe, it is one I began to bake with my Mom when I was little, and it is the one I made for our going away party from Dijon.

It is delicious, and especially good layered with lemon curd and iced with butter crème icing.
This recipe will make a decent sized cake but I often double it and then do a big and little one to freeze to use later.
Here goes…

Bonnie Butter Cake
Heat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.
Prepare baking pans- rub with butter and the flour the interior, set aside.
Mix until white and creamy
2/3 cup of butter
1 ¼ cups of sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla.
Measure into a large bowl and set aside
2 ¼ cups of all purpose flour OR 3 cups of cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
Measure and set aside
1 ¼ cups of milk
Add the flour and milk alternately to the butter mixture in 1/3rds and mix each addition until it is blended, then mix on medium high speed until it is smooth and velvety looking.
Pour into cake pans until 2/3rds full and bake until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake bounces back when pressed…(Hey!!! I bounce back when I am pressed!!!) anywhere from 30-50 minutes depending on pans and oven. Let cool on rack then wrap tightly in a bag still in the pan and freeze.

Butter crème icing.
8 large eggs whites (reserve yolks for lemon curd).
Place in a heat proof bowl or top of larger double boiler and add
2 ½ cups of sugar
Heat and stir until mixture measures 170degrees F, remove from heat and mix well on high speed until the mixture is white and fluffy and stands in peaks, it will more then double in volume.
Fold in a lump at a time and mix until smooth and glossy.
3 cups of butter
¼ teaspoon of salt

The mixture will deflate a little after mixing in the better, reserve in fridge and beat again just before using. (This is also fabulous of you want to add cocoa, or white or dark chocolate (just melted) and can be also tinted with food coloring or flavoured with vanilla, almond etc.

Lemon Curd
Place in a sauce pan and cook on low heat while whisking until boiling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
16 egg yolks
2 cups of sugar
Zest of 4 lemons
1 cup of lemon juice
Remove from heat and add
1 ¼ cups of butter
¼ teaspoon salt
Sieve and discard solids, cool with plastic wrap covering to prevent a skin and reserve. The curd can be frozen for several weeks and thawed when ready to use.


The assembly.
Remove the frozen cakes from freezer and run pan under warm water to remove cake, let thaw only slightly. Slice into layers with a serrated knife, running the knife all the way around the cakes to mark you cutting lines, and then cut in about 1-2” all the way around,. Then slowly and carefully slice the rest of the way. If the cake breaks it can be used any way as the icing and curd act like glue. (I try to do several layers around ½ thick) The slicing process and icing process is greatly aided if you have a very thin sturdy plate or piece of metal to use to move the slices around which prevents the layers breaking. The bottom of a cheese cake tin or tart pan is ideal. Stack up the layers in their proper order and brush off the crumbs with a soft brush.
Lay down the first layer and spread lemon curd between and so on to the top. Wipe off excess. Then spread a 1st coat of icing to smooth the cake. Let it sit for a minute and then apply the last coat. I use a long straight spatula and run it under hot water to smooth it at the end which gives the cake a nice smooth finish. The cake can be frozen and taken out 12 hours before serving and can be decorated or garnished with fresh flowers.

Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The children are settling into a modicum of routine, and I am all for it. With all the upheaval and newness they are adapting really well but it is easy to forget that it is not only the adults who feel like fish out of water or (wasser Ha!, can you believe it - GERMAN!!!!!) but the kids too and in one sense perhaps we are better equiped to deal with the transition than they as they seem to feel their way through it while we can at least intellectualize our own adjustment.

On the whole everyone seems to be doing pretty good though there has been alot more yelling around here than there has been for a while and Lily for all her sweetness seems to be going through a bit of a bellowing stage...oooh my tender eardrums...seems I need to improve my ignoring skills.

Riel has been making noises about having a few boys over for play dates and even though we are nearer to the summer break I think it would be good for him to forge some alliances, now to muster up the time and the energy. We had a playdate with a friend from school tonight who is halfway between the two kids ages and in the end it all worked out ok with the three of them playing together but there was some struggling for a while about who plays with whom. And of course it is ALL very serious. I remember that though....

So finally I am turning my consciousness outside of the house and to our area and have started to look at the maps and guide books to figure out what is near and what we would like to see and explore. Seems there is lots to see so must get down to it and start planning. At the moment we hope to take the caravan to Scandanavia this summer for a few weeks but need to do some more research...We will make the pilgrimage back to Dijon this weekend to pick up the caravan...(figures our first road trip and it is back to France...). Not that I am done unpacking mind you but am at an impasse being both bored and fed up with it, so I will just make the rest of it invisible for a while to catch up with a bit of my life.

*Ahhhh..* Shedding the moving garb and pulling on those comfy NOMAD boots...


Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Little Miss Lily did all these all by herself, she looks pretty proud of herself no?

Little Miss Lily was invited to a birthday pretty!!

On the way to the party, she said to me a little pensively....

Mom, when we arrive at the party can you...leave?

*Sheesh* already?

What we have been up to...