French Fridays with Dorie: Visitandine

Visitandine Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table

I received the call around 2pm yesterday.

“I think you went overboard with the almond extract”

“There was no almond extract in this recipe.  It was the brown butter”.

“I really don’t do almond extract”

“And it’s okay because there wasn’t any in the cake.  Just vanilla and the brown butter.  And flour, and sugar, and egg whites.  Nada de almendra.”

Brown butter is magic.  Its French name, beurre noisette, literally translates to ‘hazelnut butter’ which is probably why E wasn’t a big fan of the visitandine, this week’s selected French Fridays with Dorie recipe.  Named after the religious congregation that popularized it, the visitandine is a simple cake that at Dorie Greenspan’s suggestion, gets elevated by swapping regular melted butter with browned butter.

While many of my Dorista friends dressed up their visitandines to the nines, I enjoyed mine with my espresso and a bit of blueberry preserves.  Next time, I’ll definitely do ‘regular’ melted butter (or cook it to a lighter color) and top it with fruit or ice cream.  It’s the perfect simple cake to keep whenever there is visita – guests!


French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  Check out the rest of the participating posts for this week here.

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

14 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Visitandine”

  1. April 5, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    I liked the nuttiness of browned butter too. The flavor was so pure when eating it plain. I agree with you that this is a perfect cake to serve to visitors. Do you want to come over? I have some left to share.

    • April 5, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Maybe in November! We’re spending Thanksgiving with our Cambridge friends.

  2. April 5, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    You got nice color in the crust. I ‘browned’ the butter a bit only; and I am sure my DH will enjoy my madeleine version of the cake by dunking them in his hot beverage tomorrow!

  3. April 5, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    I’m trying it with browned butter next! YUM!

  4. April 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    I love the nuttiness browned butter adds to baked goods. I will be trying it next time I make this wonderful cake! A lovely cake for company! Yours looks perfect…glad you enjoyed it, Adriana!

  5. April 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Browning the butter adds so much flavour and a beautiful colour. I didn’t this time, as I thought the plainer cake would go best with lemon curd. I think you have the right idea keeping it simple, though – the flavours are lovely all on their own.

  6. April 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    Why on EARTH would you ever want to do this without browned butter? I don’t get it… just… don’t… get it. Browned butter is IT.


  7. April 6, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Oh no, you have to keep the brown butter. it adds so much great flavor. I ate this the first night plain and it was delicious. By the second day it was a bit drier and then it needed the strawberries and cream to give it a boost.

  8. Renee
    April 7, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Brown butter is magic! It gives this otherwise plainish cake some life and makes it soooo much better. Glad you liked it, but I’d keep the brown butter in all the redos. So good!

  9. April 7, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    I’m curious to try the browned butter myself….

  10. April 7, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    The cake looks fantastic but please, please keep the brown butter. It is definitely magic!

  11. April 8, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    If given the choice between browning the butter and not… well, there really isn’t a choice, is there?

  12. April 9, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    This was good, wasn’t it. I skipped the browned butter but perhaps should try it next time.

  13. April 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Adriana, one very pretty Visitandine – simplicity was the magic word for this recipe – we also liked this “very simple” , with just a bit of fruit compote and I believe that simple is best with these kinds of recipes – love the color of your cake, I guess I will have to make the brown butter next time I prepare this recipe.
    Hope all is well – have a great week!

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