Summer really comes alive when all our favourite people are in the house. Kids, dogs, friends – that’s what life is really about. My best friend Isabelle is here with her husband Mathieu, their two cuties Oscar (my godson) and Selma. Not only can I enjoy their company, but also some excellent guest cooking. I can just sit back and lounge by the pool expecting an exciting menu ahead.
This is the case with Mathieu, who’s a fashion designer based in London. He is a real natural when it comes to cooking, one of those French kitchen luminaries that can create a dish out of nothing. Today he baked a Far Breton, inspired from his childhood holidays in Brittany.
The beautiful flavour of the homely batter and sophisticated rum is what I love most about this rustic cake – the never-ending taste lingers on until you have the last sip of coffee. Always causing a sensation at home, we end up slicing smaller pieces to keep everybody happy. I say, let’s make more next time.
Ingredients (serves 6):
300 g pitted dried prunes
225 g plain flour (sifted)
8 g vanilla sugar
Dark rum (enough to cover the prunes in a small bowl)
125 g caster sugar
1 tsp salted butter
75 cl full-cream milk
A pinch of salt.
Preheat oven 200 °C.
Place pitted dried prunes in a small bowl and pour enough rum to cover the prunes. Cover and set aside for 48 hours at room temperature. The prunes will soak up most of the rum.
Drain the soaked prunes and keep the remaining rum. Set aside. In a saucepan heat the milk until it simmers. Remove the thin layer of film that might have formed. Beat the eggs until fluffy, then pour slowly to the sifted flour, whisking away. Add the warm milk slowly, sugar, vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt and continue whisking. Pour remaining rum into batter and set the prunes aside.
Line a rectangle or oval oven-proof dish (27 cm length/5.5 cm depth approx.) with butter and pour in half of the batter. Place prunes evenly all over the dish and continue pouring the remaining batter. Place in the oven for 35 minutes – when the ‘far’ is slightly golden, take it out of the oven and spread salted butter all over. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let the far rest until cooled and serve (it can also be served warm to your liking).