Cakes on cakes on cakes!

I recently completed this 3 week course entitled “Basic and Classical Cakes”. I was very fond of my instructor, Chef Welker, who was always so attentive and helpful. We made a lot of products in this class, so much so that the more pictures I shared on facebook the more comments I got asking to stop because I made so many people hungry!

One of the very first things we made in this class was pithivier, something I had never heard of before walking into the class. Pithivier, is a french specialty that is made from puff pastry dough and filled with a frangipane filling. The top view is meant to look similar to a wagon wheel or sunflower. On a side note this dessert reminds me of that country sound- Wagon wheel, “so rock me mamma like a wagon wheel, rock me anyways you feel…”

ImagePuff Pastry Dough:


Bread flour     32 oz

Pastry flour      8 oz.

Salt                  1 oz

Butter, soft       8 oz.

Water, cold      21 oz.

Roll in

Butter      2 lb.  4 oz.

Bread flour       4 oz.


1. Flatten your butter block (roll in portion) into a 1/2 ” thick rectangle. Wrap and refrigerate.

2. Mix together water, flour, salt, and butter on first speed until a smooth dough is formed.

3. Shape dough into rectangle (twice size of fat) – cover and rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Lock butter into dough portion with a book fold and then rest for 30 minutes in fridge.

4. Roll dough out and give it a 4 fold. Again rest for 30 minutes.

5. Make a 3 fold and rest.

6. Make a 4 fold and rest.

7. Make a 3 fold and rest.

8. Roll out 2, 10 ” rounds of puff pastry dough (one is 3/8″ thick for the top and the other 1/8″ thick).

*This recipe yields a large portion of puff dough but the convenient thing about puff dough is it can be frozen and pulled out again for a variety of things such as a jalouise, apple strip, etc. Just think as puff dough as your base for any filling you wish. You’ve already done all the folds so whenever you want to use it again just roll it out to whichever shape you desire!

Frangipane filling:

1/2 C. almond paste

1/4 C. sugar

1 egg

3 T. butter, softened

3/4 t. vanilla extract

1 T. cake flour, sifted


1. Blend together with a paddle the almond paste and sugar. Add the butter and cream until smooth with no lumps.

2. Slowly add eggs, scrape as neccessary.

3. Add flour and mix until combined.

And to assemble the whole thing…….

Fill a pastry bag with no tip with your filling. Pipe filling in the center of your bottom round of puff, leaving a 2″ border. Egg wash your border and seal with the second circle of puff dough. Press together firmly.

Take tip and cut half circles around the rim of your dough.

Using a paring knife, cut a spiral pattern in the top portion of dough. Chill the dough, chill the dough, chill the dough before baking!

Bake at 375 F until golden brown.

Brush with simple syrup immediately out of the oven.

“There’s only one cuisine for me. The good one.” -Paul Bocuse


Baking Adventures in Anacortes (Part I.)

CO-LAM-BA! I have an important announcement everyone! There is such a thing as coconut lime berry cake and it exists on this sweet sweet earth! Alexis and I have re-named this magical dessert as co-lam-ba, we shall leave the spelling up to you.

This is a quick, simple, and delicious recipe! I highly recommend trying it, especially in the summer months! I found the recipe from a website entitled twopeasandtheirpod. The link is enclosed.

Coconut Lime Berry Cake:

Yields 12-14 servings


3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons lime juice
3 cups raspberries and blueberries (or any fruit of your choosing!)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.

3. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beat until combined. Stir in lime zest and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Pour batter into dish. Smooth top with a rubber spatula.

4. In a medium bowl, toss together 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, berries, and 3 tablespoons of lime juice. Scatter berry mixture over batter. Bake cake for 35-40 minutes, or until cake is golden at edges and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

5. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

“Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.”   ~Judith Olney