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What we think of as French pastry in this country is just a small part of the enormous cake repertoire of France.  Although there are only eight basic pastry doughs used there, with all the variations added by generations of ingenious chefs, the number of different cakes made from them now is staggering.  We have eaten rich cakes and poor ones, fancy cakes and plain ones, and have liked nearly all of them.  Mary is the cake baker in our family (“If you can lay brick you can frost a cake,” she explains simply.) and hers are always triumphs.  This unfrosted cake, saturated with orange juice and orange liqueur is a special favourite, marvelous with tea or coffee.  Mary was given the recipe at a little inn in Lorraine, a province of France noted for its fruits and liqueurs and where the rum-saturated cakes known as babas were invented.

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Vincent Says

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