Hi, Katherine Curry, back with a quick post about something I sampled today at Susan Lawrence in Chappaqua.
I stopped into the shop this afternoon to pick up some lunch—I’ve loved Susan Lawrence’s food for years, but I try to steer clear because I have a tendency to spend over $50 on “lunch” here, which ends up including a beautiful little cake or tart, and something for dinner, and…ooh, look! lobster risotto and…well, you get the idea.
Here’s the new object of my affection.
There was a plate at the checkout counter with little cut-up cubes of the Babette cake for sampling. What kind of food blogger passes up a free sample?
Oh, my. Really, this cake —no bargain at $18.75—is incredible. Crunchy on the outside, dusted with powdered sugar and coated with what I think are crushed almonds, the Babette is ethereally light on the inside, with an incredibly creamy, lemony center reminiscent of lemon curd. It’s a knockout.
Susan Lawrence owner Mark Kramer has written a little narrative about the Babette cake, which is displayed next to the cakes for sale. In it he tells of coming upon the cake in Rome at Babette restaurant near the piazza de Popolo. He was unable to get the owner (Babette, of course) to part with her recipe for lemon cake, so he’s been experimenting with recipes to recreate it. Despite its similarities to Torta della Nonna, he decided it was really a French cake “with an Italian twist.”
I’ll never know if he’s recreated it—all that matters is what he has created, which is one of the simplest and best cakes I’ve ever tasted.
Susan Lawrence, 26 N. Greeley Ave., Chappaqua. 914-238-8833.