Marie Hélène’s Apple Cake

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Now, although I had a beloved aunt named Hélène and my middle name is Marie, I don’t actually know anyone named Marie Hélène. However that didn’t stop me from making her apple cake.

Armed with some nice local Empire apples, and a friend coming over from lunch (see this post about that fun visit) I went in search for a dessert recipe calling for apples. I found this one on Epicurious, which was prefaced by a charming story about the writer sampling this cake made by her French friend, and then, upon asking for the recipe, being told that it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It turned out that Marie Hélène had winged the cake.

So the writer, Dorie Greenspan, who found it too delicious not to repeat, went about creating a recipe for what she had eaten, a treat that contained more apple than it did cake. I am glad that she went through the trouble because the cake was very nice indeed. Oh, did I mention that it has rum in it, that adds a great subtle layer of flavour?

I followed the recipe exactly except used only one kind of apple, versus the variety called for in the recipe. Also, my springform pan was 9 1/2 inches across, rather than the 8 inches called for, so my cake was decidedly thinner than the original. It was still very good, albeit reminding me of a big apple pancake. This change will not be necessary in the future however, as I’ve already gone out to get the right size pan, in anticipation of making this lovely cake again.

These pictures were taken in the dimming light of a fall evening, before we had our dessert, therefore they’re dark.

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The cake serves 8 so there was plenty left over to get a picture in better light the next afternoon …

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Thanks for dropping over. I hope you’re in for an excellent weekend. We have a birthday party to go to, which will be fun. Of course, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it next week!
xo loulou

Posted in Cakes Cookies and Desserts, Recipes | 3 Comments

Sunday Lunch at Our Place

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Our dear friend Andrea came over for a late lunch and some movie watching on Sunday, and as always, it was a delight having her here.

She arrived around 1:30, just as I was putting the cake I made for dessert into the oven. I quickly made a salad dressing then joined her at the kitchen table, where we had a glass of wine and chatted with Nick as he prepared the salad and the main course. (I was forbidden from taking a picture of him wearing his apron and hairnet.)

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We got caught up while the room filled with delectable aromas, and the light coming through the windows turned golden.

He treated us to a terrific meal. He had a can of lobster and some puff pastry in the freezer that he turned into some delicious Vol au Vents.

A note about frozen lobster : the brand we use is Rocky Point, which is ethically caught on Canada’s east coast. We buy it when it goes on sale and until now have only ever used it inside homemade ravioli, but now we’ll also think to use it in this dish, as it turned out very nicely. The meat is frozen in pieces and is pretty good stuff if anyone is on the fence about trying frozen canned lobster.

The sauce contained sauteed shallots, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, peas, celery, white wine, preserved lemon and the rest of the fresh tarragon from my herb garden. And of course those nice big pieces of lobster meat. Those ingredients were added to a white sauce (butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper) that was prepared in a separate pan. In the meantime, squares of store-bought puff pastry, were baked until puffy and golden in a 350 degree oven. A hat for each square was made by cutting a smaller square into half of the larger ones. (The pictures will give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.)

The salad had arugula and baby kale leaves, topped with cucumbers, his own pickled beets and kumatoes. No, that is not a typo … he found some of these on special and tried them out. They were nice, and although they are a remarkable brown colour, they really tasted very much like good quality regular tomatoes.

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lou

Care to have a little look around at our ever changing decor?

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After dinner we got comfy for some movie watching. While flipping through the abundance of choices on Netflix, Andrea suggested an older film that neither Nick nor I had seen, the sci-fi ‘Minority Report‘, from 2002, with Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg. We loved it and gave it 5 stars, and Andrea enjoyed seeing it again. Then we watched a foreign film that Nick has already seen called ‘Alatriste‘ from 2006, starring Viggo Mortensen. It was also a very good movie.

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Somewhere amid the movie watching we had dessert, which I’ll talk about further in my next post.

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Of course, the visit eventually came to an end, with Andrea heading off into the night, armed with a bag containing her own jar of Nick’s pickled beets and my copy of ‘The Happiness Project’ to borrow. I read it this summer and ripped right through it. I found it very inspiring and recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it yet, regardless of whether you feel happy or not. Personally, in spite of the trials and tribulations we all face in life, I feel I’m on the happy side, but even so I found lots to love about that book.

Are you into details? If so here are links to previous posts about some of the things you’ve see here today :

Thrifted Green Bowl (that contains the pine-cones), Thrifted Napkins, Thrifted Rooster, Thrifted Tartan Sheet (that I use as a light blanket), My Thrifted Shirt, Yarncore Print, DIY Maple Leaf Garland, Crocheted Pumpkin and Doily, DIY Felt Cat

The tablecloth and place mats are from HomeSense and I really should have ironed them!

Thank you for dropping by. Hope you’re having a good week.
xo loulou

Posted in Dinner Details, Hanging out at Home, Home style | 5 Comments