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On A Quest: Gerard Mullot’s Cerisai Cakes

Gerard I need your recipe! I want it so bad I am ready to make them as many times as necessary until I get the consistency right. The originals were divine.

When I went home for Christmas, B. and I left the family for a few days and booked a hotel room in the 6th neighborhood right across from the famed bakery of Gerard Mullot. Macarons, croissants, fig and walnut bread, chocolate ganache tarts became our regular fare for breakfast. One morning I asked for one mini cake called a Cerisai: a pistachio cake with sour cherries inside…and it was heavenly light, flavorful…and B. only got my crumbs… I vowed to re-create them once I’d be back in the US and since then I have been looking for a recipe that would come close or that I could adapt and play with until I find the right way to make them. Maybe Carol can coax the man into giving the recipe away…in the meantime I’ll keep trying.

I was playing catch up on my blog reading one day and visited one of my favorite French blogs, Eggs and Mouillettes, written by the talented and witty Fabienne. She posted a recipe that made me think I would have a good start reproducing Mullot’s original. It was close to a Financier recipe and full of pistachios. I had sour cherry jam on hand so I got cranking. I had planned to follow the recipe to a T…multi-tasking with dinner and a sick dog made me leave the butter completely out of the recipe. They still turned out nice in shape and pistachios flavor but I am sure that the butter would have added a little softness to the finish product. I will try it again just as Fabienne posted it, but I already have made a list of several changes to try in upcoming attempts in re-creating them. I am that fixated…I will keep you posted with each one I make until I find the right one!

Mini Pistachio and Sour Cherry Cakes, adapted from Florence Edelmann

Makes 6 -8 cakes

100 gr. powdered sugar

40 gr. flour

125 gr. unsalted pistachios, finely ground

(120 gr. melted butter…that I forgot)

5 egg whites, lightly beaten to a foam

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cherry jam

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together the flour and powdered sugar. Add the pistachios, the butter (if you don’t forget it), the egg beaten egg whites and the vanilla. Mix with a spatula without working it too much.
Spoon 1/4 cup in the bottom of buttered muffin tins and add a heaping Tb. of sour cherry jam. Spoon another 1/4 cup of batter on top of the jam and bake bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Don’t get me wrong, these were very good but they were no where close to what I had in Paris…so back to the drawing board!

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MyKitchenInHalfCups March 2, 2007 um 11:24 am

Sorry about the sick dog but it’s heartening to know even someone like you can leave out the butter.
I’ll be waiting for the next edition!

Christine March 2, 2007 um 1:45 pm

Definitely keep us posted. It sounds delicious!

Brilynn March 2, 2007 um 3:32 pm

Maybe you should send me to Paris to unearth the recipe for you… just a thought!

Linda March 2, 2007 um 4:17 pm

what an intricate mix of flavors. lovely, really lovely!

Mandira March 2, 2007 um 6:07 pm

Would love to see the original recipe. your’s looks great to me. Great mix of flavors…

Cheryl March 2, 2007 um 8:07 pm

What an interesting combination of flavors. I would try it in a heartbeat.

Anonymous March 3, 2007 um 2:26 am

Helene, what did you think was missing. Was it texture or flavor. Since you forgot the butter then maybe that’s a key component. Oh how about browned butter…I’m a big fan of it now. :). Your cerisai cakes look so delectable though.

Toni March 3, 2007 um 7:39 am

My first time visiting your blog. OMG! I thought I had died and gone to heaven just reading about these! I want to know how you tweak the recipe, and am looking forward to you "getting it right". (These look sooooo right to me!) Thanks!

Gattina Cheung March 3, 2007 um 10:27 am

I’m in love with this cake!!! Just look at the recipe I know the cake will be very light, going to try it!

Anonymous March 3, 2007 um 4:56 pm

I am like you. I try until I am happy and sometimes, we eat a lot of the same thing for a while until it happens. I love the combination of pistachio with sour cherries. Miam , les bonnes cerises aigres

Jann March 3, 2007 um 9:57 pm

How nice that you keep trying-i would have given up on a recipe after a few tries of not getting it-I think another trip to Paris real soon would fix eveything!

Pille April 2, 2007 um 5:31 pm

Interesting snippets of information – thanks for sharing. I, on the other hand, have a bitemark on my lower back, given by my sister when she was about 3 and I was 4:)

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