31 October 2010

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake for the Ultimate Brunch

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake

 
Hello dear friends. I hope you are having a safe and happy Hallowe'en. Today I have brought you  a very special dessert that has been making its rounds in the blogosphere. I first heard about this cake from my mom and dad about a month ago after they had watched an episode of a national news show Canada AM. It was something that appealed to them being not too sweet and not too filling. In fact, the texture is more fruity than cakey. I was intrigued by the fact that there seemed to be more fruit per ratio than most cakes that have ever graced the More Than Burnt Toast kitchen; and it was certainly a change from my cream cheese laden specialties. You know me I can't resist an experiment and I assured my parents I would let them know how it turned out. So I made it last Sunday knowing it would be perfect for brunch.

 

 
 
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz - Linus and Sally
 
Imagine my delight when the group French Fridays with Dorie made this cake also. And so they should because this is one fine dessert!!!The cake can be found in Dorie Greenspan's latest book "Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours.”  Her friend living in Paris, the aforementioned Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhoste, is one of those wonderfully instinctive cooks that never writes down recipes. Isn't this how our mothers and grandmothers used to cook by adding a pinch of this and a little of that. It somehow always came together!!!Dorie recreated this recipe by her instinct.

 
Dorie says, "I call this dessert a cake, mostly because I don’t know what else to call it. The rum-and-vanilla-scented batter is less cakey than custardy. And there’s only enough of it to surround the apples. It’s a very homey, almost rustic cake and it’s good no matter what kinds of apples you use. In fact, when I asked Marie-Hélène which apples she used, she said she didn’t know...she just used whatever she had. The cake is extremely easy to make (foolproof, really, you just whisk the ingredients together in a bowl), satisfying, fragrant (I love the way the house smells when it’s in the oven) and appealing in an autumn-in-the-country kind of way."

 
The light cake batter is laced with rum and vanilla and envelopes the apples beautifully. The cake from start to finish comes together in a matter of minutes and yet is special enough to present at an elegant dinner. Dorie suggests making this cake with four different varieties of apples. It just so happens that patients have been bringing cartons of apples to work so I have several varieties in my fridge waiting for their moment to shine...and shine they did!!!! This was perfect for a Sunday brunch last week or serve as Dorie suggests with a little cinnamon ice cream. I would have....if there had have been any leftovers!!

 
Your cake looks perfect and I'm delighted that you liked it. And yes, I know the problem of not having leftovers -- a nice problem to have though....Dorie Greenspan 

 

 
 
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown by Charles M.  Schulz......"I got a rock"

 
**Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake**
from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

 1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch spring form pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the spring form on it.

 
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.

 
3. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.

 
4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's evenish.

 
5. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.

 
6. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the spring form pan. (Open the spring form slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the spring form pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.

 
Serving

 
The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène's served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.

 
Storing

 
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to Dorie's husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it's best not to cover it — it's too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.

 
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32 comments:

  1. A delightful cake! So irresistible.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. This cake recipe sounds more than perfect. Thank you for sharing. I have a feeling this will be made often.

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  3. I'm drooling over the photo, I mean it! I love apple cakes and pies of any kind.

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  4. This cake sounds divine. I'm not much of a sweet eater, so I know I would love it.

    Happy Halloween.
    Sam

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  5. I love the fact that this cake has rum in it, very nice indeed!

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  6. Your cake turned out perfectly, Val. Apples are so wonderful right now and a bit of rum really adds depth to the delicate flavor of the cake.

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  7. Your cake looks perfect and I'm delighted that you liked it. And yes, I know the problem of not having leftovers -- a nice problem to have though.

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  8. I made this cake last week and we all absolutely loved it. It was devoured in less than 24 hour, lol. I have two of her cookbooks on my birthday/Christmas wish list. Happy Halloween!

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  9. This recipe has been making the rounds on the blogs and the more I see it, the more I want to make it. This time of year just begs for more apples desserts!

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  10. I love, really love this apple cake, look divine Vall! Have a lovely halloween! gloria

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  11. Everytime I see this cake I think about how perfect the texture seems t be. I just love it through and through.

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  12. This is a perfect cake for brunch- lovely!

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  13. Definitely a recipe to bookmark. Happy Halloween!

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  14. Love your story with the recipe, Valli! I have seen it all over the blogosphere lately, and have already copied it to make. It has rave reviews in every post I have read. It would probably make great little muffins, too, with an apple disc on top.I love how people do those... I am still working on it.
    :)
    Valerie

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  15. I want in a a brunch with this cake for sure...it looks fantastic! Hope you had a great Halloween!

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  16. hi fellow BC blogger. I'm from the lower mainland :) great looking cake!

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  17. This is a great recipe to share with baking newbies. It's fast and easy. Oh, and good.

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  18. It's a lovely, light cake, Val. Very elegant too. Wouldn't it be great for a fall brunch or tea?

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  19. I will be trying this cake this week too. I have seen it all over and yours looks delish!

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  20. Loved that Charlie Brown episode and this cake is a great option for that leftover pumpkin.

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  21. Great cake, I am your newest follower and look fwd to more

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  22. If it has rum it is right up my alley. A must try. In a few days we will be having dinner in San Fran. Have a safe trip.

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  23. Sounds absolutely delicious! A great way to really showcase the fall apple harvest!

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  24. Aww, apple cake is such a homey, cozy dessert, Val. :-) My grandmother makes it and ohhh, I just love it! Yours looks delicious. :-)

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  25. Absolutelt droolworthy cake...and I've seen it thrice before on blogs today! Delicious is the word Val!

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  26. What a wonderful looking cske. I just bookmarked this recipe. Thanks for sharing it. I need to check out Dorie's new cookbook.

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  27. I liked this cake so much that I made it twice! The first time I followed the recipe, and the second time I browned the butter and used Amaretto. I can definitely recommend the browned butter version!
    :)

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  28. Although I already have a few favourite recipes for apple cake...one more certainly couldn't hurt...especially with dark Rum.
    Val...your parents must be so pleased that you gave this one a whirl...and I shall too at some point ;o)

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  29. This is the first time I read about this cake. I love those old grandmas recipes. With rum it would be a winner in my house.

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  30. I loooove apple cakes so much, Val. This one looks delicious. Mmm, rum!

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  31. Thats such a good looking cake.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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