Thursday, October 28, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Marie--Helene's Apple Cake

Ready for my tasters at the office
Apple cake, vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce

I know what I want my house to smell like during the holidays...Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake!  For such a simple recipe, while baking, the aroma of this cake was potent enough to fill the entire house with a fragrance reminiscent of momma’s apple pie, delicious vanilla, hot-spiced cider, and just-out-of-the-oven sweet rolls.  Such comforting scents bring the holidays to mind even though today our part of Arizona was 94^ , not a traditional holiday setting.

The batter is folded over the apple chunks, placed into an 8" springform pan and ready for the oven.

Just out of the oven.  This cake could use a little more batter to make the lovely top "crust"

The making and baking process was simple; all the ingredients are “normal” items that I keep at home.  No shopping for this one.  A variety of apples  (I used Jonathan, Jona-gold, Gala, and another “unknown” baking variety...maybe a Pink Lady), a simple buttery batter, a few common spices, and this cake mixture was ready for baking in less than 10 minutes.  I used an 8" springform pan, and I added cinnamon, nutmeg, extra vanilla, apple cider, and I left out the rum.  After baking for 50 minutes the cake was perfectly ready to side with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce that I found on the “new items” shelf  last week at Trader Joe’s.

Delicious new discovery--Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Sauce

Apples from top to bottom in this delicious cake---Every bite is filled with different apple textures from 4 different varieties of apples

Because I needed to make a late afternoon run to the office, I decided to let the office crew be my tasters.  The cake is small but the flavor holds its own when paired with ice cream and a caramel drizzle topping.  Had I enjoyed the cake at home with my family,  I would have topped the caramel drizzle with some chopped toasted pecans.  At the office I un-formed the cake (by this time the cake had been out of the oven for a couple of hours), but I should have removed the pan sides earlier and they would have come away cleaner.  Also, my daughter, the Frolicking Night Owl, made the same cake earlier in the week, and she advised me that the cake, eaten while still warm, is best.  The photo of the cake in Dorie’s book shows a nice crust on top.  My cake may have had a little extra apple as the apple chunks covered the top and seemed to need a bit more batter.  I may choose smaller apples for the next baking of this cake.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Comments from the office:
Eric:    Tres delicieux!  Refreshing...not too sweet;  just right.
Bill:      Excellent!  This is really good!  (He is not only an attorney, but also an at-home chef)
Marc:   Very tasty!  This is dinner.  It will be worth it to eat this cake even though it will require extra time at   the gym.
Scott:    Oh yeah, this is good!  I like the addition of ice cream and caramel

Down at the office with all these goodies---keeps the employees very happy!
My hubby and I have an early morning meeting with the Town Counsel next week.  Hubby is chairman of a Town commission and his assignment for the meeting is: Provide breakfast.  Well, that sounds better that the usual business!  Actually, this means that I will provide the breakfast.   I have been collecting my ideas and ingredients, and after enjoying this week’s assigned apple cake, I plan to add it to my menu!


  1. Ah, you were brilliant enough to come up with the caramel sauce BEFORE the cake was gone...

  2. Caramel sauce? You Doristas have such great ideas! Sigh. I'll have to do this again I can see that.
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  3. Wow the caramel sauce look to die for.. Looks so good. What a smart idea! B

  4. Great minds think alike - I made a caramel sauce to drizzle over mine too! Love the idea of subbing apple cider for the rum too! Glad your office mates enjoyed it.

  5. Im glad the Office crew enjoyed the cake! It looks amazing and the caramel sauce would give it that extra kick of sweetness!

  6. Cake looks great! Thanks for the tip on the Caramel sauce...I'm going to get some today.

  7. I am going to trader joe's this weekend to get that caramel sauce...thanks.

  8. I thought about a caramel sauce as well as a number of other things that we enjoy with apples. I'll have to keep my eye out for some.

  9. What a beauty. This was one of the best cakes and with the beautiful caramel, I bet it was the best.

  10. I might have to run to trader joes and try that caramel fleur de sel ;-)