2000s Recipes + Menus

Toasted Anise-Seed Cake Slices (Trompe L'oeil "toasts")

Makes12 Slices
  • Active time:15 min
  • Start to finish:2 hr
April 2007
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 jumbo eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, finely crushed
  • Special Equipment:

    a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter and flour an 8- by 4- by 3-inch loaf pan.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
  • Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of mixer at high speed until tripled in volume and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 2 seconds to dissolve when beater is lifted, 12 to 18 minutes.
  • Sift flour mixture over egg mixture in 3 batches, folding in each batch. Gently stir in cooled butter and anise seeds. Immediately pour into loaf pan and smooth top. Bake until top is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool loaf 5 minutes, then invert onto a cutting board and cool 30 minutes more.
  • Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 400ºF.
  • Trim ends of loaf and cut loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Bake on a baking sheet until undersides are golden brown, about 7 minutes. Turn toasts over and bake until undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes more.
Cooks’ note: Loaf can be baked (but not sliced and toasted) 2 days ahead and kept, wrapped in foil, at room temperature or frozen 1 month. Slice and toast just before serving.
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