Miette’s Lemon Debutante Cake

by Ruby on September 16, 2011

Today’s post comes from Dolores, the manager at our Gifts and Stationery store and a very talented baker!

I have never written a blog but was encouraged to do so when my co-worker here at Vroman’s, Anne, saw a picture of the Lemon Debutante Cake I created for one of my staff members’ birthdays, and so here my story begins….

MietteAs the song goes, I left my heart in San Francisco… not in a mournful, lost love way, but in a the-city-will-always-be-a-touchstone way. I was fortunate to live in the Bay Area for almost 20 years before returning to southern California, where I grew up. There are a million tiny things that lift my spirits when I think of the Bay Area, not the least of which are the amazingly talented chefs and bakers who give so fully of their talents to all who choose to partake of their creations. A never-miss favorite, whenever I visit San Francisco, is the Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. It was there in 2003 that I discovered the charmingly delicious gem of a bakery Miette. So to say that I was thrilled when Meg Ray published a cookbook of some of her bakeries’ delights is a major understatement.

When I joined Vroman’s in 2005 as the manager of the Fine Writing, Gifts and Stationery store, I decided to use my love of baking to start a tradition with my staff. I offered to bake any dessert of choice as a birthday gift. This offer, needless to say, was enthusiastically accepted. Over the years I’ve made many a cake, pie, cupcake, cookie and bar. When we received the Miette cookbook in our store, my co-worker Cara promptly chose the Lemon Debutante Cake as her choice for this year’s birthday cake.

(click for a larger image!)

Ms. Ray has written a well defined, steps-to-follow book that gives exact instructions even a novice baker can understand, (albeit a confident novice baker!). Above is a picture of the resultant cake and, as you will see when you look through the book, it does not quite have the same refined, polished look a professional baker can produce. Nevertheless it was a delicious, rich cake in which a small slice will leave you feeling completely indulged and satisfied! By the way, all the cakes in the book are designed to be made in a 6×3 cake pan because, as Ms. Ray says, she adopted the principle of less is more, taking a page from the Japanese: Small is better, balance is everything. I couldn’t agree more!
– Dolores

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eloise 09.24.11 at 10:37 am

Fabulous article! This makes me want to go out and bake a cake! I am not a good cook- and it is good to know there is a book out there for people who are “kitchen” impaired such as myself. I work and come home to a 14 year old son who is always hungry…
Is there a cook book that has simple basic receipies that can be made quickly that taste yummy?

Nancy Coopersmith 09.24.11 at 1:22 pm

Dolores, you rock!! XXOO Nancy

Ruby 09.26.11 at 2:35 pm

Eloise: Take a look at Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, that might be the kind of cookbook you’re looking for!
If that’s not quite it, I highly recommend stopping by the store if you can – our staff is highly knowledgeable and would be happy to help you find the perfect cookbook.

Nancy: I’ll let Dolores know!

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