i've been agonizing--or at least thinking really hard when i should be doing other things, like my day job--about what sort of dessert to bring for my photopgraphy potluck. it's so rare that i get a real opportunity to make a cake or something especially dessert-y that i really want to have fun with it. my first thought was a red velvet cake, but mikey gave that a quick veto--"you can take the girl out of jersey, but you can't take the jersey out of the girl"--even though urband legend has red velvet as a southern specialty.
then, while perusing over at the traveler's lunchbox (yet again while i should have been working), i stumbled over the author's rave review of dorie greenspan's far breton (which, coincidentally, i had recently seen dorie bake with martha stewart. ALSO while i should have been working!). i was inspired.
the far breton was nothing short of sheer delight. i ended up not soaking the cherries (cherries instead of prunes or raisins, because i like cherries but i don't like prunes or raisisns) in anything--mostly because i went out for drinks on saturday night, intending to stop at the liquor store for some amaretto on the way home and just never made it--but they lent this gentle sweetness to the cake, and a nice bit of something chewy besides. the far flavor was subtle--although i could definitely taste the extra schlug of vanilla i threw in there--and the lightness of the cake itself made even the confectioners sugar stand out as a flavor.
i ended up using half-and-half as a base because all i had was skim milk, and half a bottle of fresh cream. i rather fancy i could taste the cream flavor in there, adding a bit of thickness, but that could just be me.
happily, the far was very well-received by my fellow photographers!
all that was left was a tiny sliver, which i left for mikey when i went to pick up firewood after our kaffee-klatsch was over.