Maybe you, too, are dreaming of France this summer.
If a week in Burgundy, sampling wine and nibbling on a fresh baguette with buttery escargot, sounds divine, then you and Austinite Kathy Dube would be friends. She’s the cook behind Shoal Creek Cook (shoalcreekcook.com and @ shoalcreekcook_atx), and earlier this year, she and her daughter, Sara, went to Burgundy, where they took a cooking class from another mother-daughter duo, Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini.
Taylor and Franchini are Americans who run Cook’s Atelier, a cooking school in Beaune, the walled city in the heart of this gastronomic French region. After hosting their popular cooking classes since 2008, they have since added a food and wine shop, and in April, they published their first cookbook, “ The Cook’s Atelier: Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from Our French Cooking School” (Harry N. Abrams, $45).
Dube was so delighted with this particular recipe that she emailed me to share it through our Austin360Cooks project, where home cooks can swap recipes, tips and ideas through Instagram.
Butter Cake with Strawberries
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (or plain sugar)
Powdered sugar (for dusting on top)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a round piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Butter the parchment paper. Dust the cake pan with flour and remove excess.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and creme fraiche. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and continue creaming until combined. Add the egg and vanilla seeds and continue creaming until fully combined. Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture and stir until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top (away from the side of the pan) in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar.
Bake until golden and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool. Dust the top with powdered sugar. If you would like, serve with extra strawberries and whipped cream.
— Adapted from Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini, The Cook’s Atelier