Cake Lab


Wednesday was the perfect day for baking – rainy and cloudy – and so I headed up to Lisa's house for a little bake off. 


Lisa turned me onto this wonderful book by food blogger extraordinaire, David Lebovitz. The best kind of armchair travel for a cold and windy spring. The Sweet Life In Paris sweeps you away to the streets and alleys and nooks and crannies of Paris inhabited by an experienced and passionate pastry chef (before moving to Paris he spent 12 years at Chez Panisse). David has a wonderful blog that I highly recommend you visit. Often. And if you haven't followed Mary Ann's sojourn to Paris, skip on over here to wander the streets of Paris through the eyes of a wonderful journal artist – immerse yourself in la vie parisienne for a little while. Not quite winter, and certainly not summer, I have loved this bit of arm chair and keyboard travel.


Anyway, back to the Cake Lab – ingeniously named by Lisa – we have more plans for forays into baking and pastry experimentation. Sorry about chopping off your head Leese…still getting used to my new photo app.


We gathered our ingredients and set out to make Chocolate Spice Bread – which is really a cake. Think the best spice cake you've ever had but deepened with chocolate (the recipe is not online, but you can find it in David's book on page 119). We decided we should do one gluten-free and one gluten-ful version. A true taste test.


Butter and chocolate melted together…Lisa and I both could have just eaten THAT bowl. Then eggs, honey and sugar beaten to a mousse-like consistency in the trusty Kitchenaid. Fold into that the chocolate/butter mix and a little flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and interestingly anise seed. A heady mix for sure!


These are our little sample plates, one each gluten-free and gluten-ful – we tried them straight up and then with a little greek yogurt and some berries. Either way – yum! The gluten-free one has a slightly different texture, but identical taste.

Until the next Cake Lab – bon appetit mes amis!

p.s. If you haven't seen Kings of Pastry, click on over here and you can watch it online. Who knew pastry could be so riveting?

7 Responses to Cake Lab

  1. mary ann says:

    my only regret about this cake bake off lab thing is that i wasn’t there. i took that book to paris! there are some fab recipes in there. let’s make a big batch of salted caramel sauce. let’s sip it in espresso cups. i mean coffee mugs. i mean glasses.
    love lisa’s apron! and the neck straps of yours! and the cake platter!


  2. Lisa Hoffman says:

    Hey Frannie Girl!
    I got the book tip from Mary Ann herself….she never steers us wrong.

    Here’s to the next experiment. I may just keep all the stuff sprawled over the counter til you come back.

  3. Kathy says:

    Bonjour mi amiee Frannie,

    Say magnifique!! Looks so yummy and delicious I wish I was baking with you guys!!! What is your next adventure oh amazing cake bosses? Much aloha, Kathy

  4. Stephanie says:

    omg!!! looks fantastic!!!

  5. Liesel says:

    YUM! When does the next batch come out of the oven?? I’ll see if there is a plane…. Ah you temptress! I always knew there was something suspicious about you! ; )

  6. Super fun! You guys look great 🙂

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