Monday, November 05, 2007

Cake at midnight.

I try not to whine, but sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that cake can't be a part of everyday life. Amanda Hesser, in her "Recipe Redux" piece in the NYTimes Sunday Magazine, mentions that back in the day, people used to make cake every couple of days, "after the previous one vanished to crumbs."

I will pause, so that you may reflect.

A new cake twice a week, let's say, just to be reasonable. Which would mean you would eat a little cake most days of your life. Why wouldn't that be a good way to live?

This observation inspired me to leap up from my Sunday-evening-prone position to whip up Teddie's Apple Cake, which was the 70s era cake featured in the piece. You bake it in a tube pan because it's a heavy batter and needs the extra surface to rise the little bit it's going to rise. Also, in a plus, cakes that are baked in tube pans have that attractive hole in the middle thing going on. Anyway--the recipe called for raisins and walnuts in addition to a whopping 3 cups of sliced apples (we have a whole box of McIntoshes we're going to turn into applesauce sometime soon). I substituted dried tart cherries for the raisins and left out the nuts--I love pecans, but I decided to go nutless in case one of the picky eaters (hint: this category doesn't include either me or the historian) might deign to try a slice. The recipe also only uses cinnamon as a spice, but I might try making the spices more complex if I ever bake this again--and I might.

The cake came out of the oven at about 11:15. That's right, 45 minutes short of midnight. I let it cool for about 3.5 minutes, then cut two slices out of the cake still in its pan, one for me and one for the historian. It was lovely. The apples tasted like they had almost melted and the cherries were splendid.

I might try the other recipe featured in the article too--it's a reimagining of the flavors, etc., of the old recipe, made by Boris Portnoy who's a pastry chef at Campton Place in San Francisco. It's a Spiced Soufflé Crepe With Sautéed Apples--the apples are sauteed in butter with thyme, an idea that I've never thought of but it seems like I should have. Apparently you make a batter, put the sauteed apples in, and bake it--the batter rises spectacularly, and then when you eat it, there's a crisp top, the melty apples, and a custardy bottom. I think I might start this recipe closer to dinner time, however.

3 comments:

Amelia said...

Cake for breakfast, cake for dinner, cake any time of day really is okay by me.

Ruthie said...

What we really want to know is, did you put a plant in the hole in the middle of the cake?

Nik said...

I wish that it was post-a-day everyday here at High Touch. Also, Erik wonders if we send you some apples, if you'll send us a cake. We have some good apples here in Michigan, but no cake.

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