Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake {FFwD}

The final recipe chosen by Dorie Greenspan for the premiere month of French Fridays with Dorie is, appropriately enough, a Fall dessert. This recipe, as with all of the FFwD recipes, comes from Dorie’s newest book, Around My French Table. Having just made our annual autumn pilgrimage to Patterson Fruit Farm, I was flush with apples, so Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake came at a perfect time. Dorie recommends using apples divers, that is different kinds of apples. I had four varieties — Jonathan, Jonagold, Macoun, and Granny Smith — and I used them all.

This recipe sounded so good that I decided to make a double batch so I would have an extra cake to take to work. I prepared the pans, got out my ingredients, and set to work.

After mixing the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, and salt — I whisked together eggs, sugar, rum, and vanilla. I stirred half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, added four tablespoons of melted butter, mixed in the rest of the flour, then four more tablespoons of butter.

Finally I folded in the chopped apples.

As you can see, the mixture is more apple than cake. There was just enough batter to hold the apples together.

I baked the cakes at 350°F for 55 minutes, until they were golden brown and set.

I turned the cakes out of the pans and let them cool a bit. We ate the cake while it was still warm with whipped cream.

To say this cake was delicious would be an understatement. It had an amazing depth of flavor, from both the apples divers and the dark rum. If you don’t believe me, ask my friends at work. They never got a chance to try it. One cake just was’t enough for us at home.


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    […] Regular readers of my blog know about my obsession with all things pumpkin, as well as my love of apples. But I am equally enamored with […]

  2. November 22, 2010 at 8:03 am

    […] recently made Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake for French Fridays with Dorie and a rustic apple tart, I hadn’t yet had my fill of apple […]

  3. Kayte said,

    November 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I am feeling a lot better now about mine being mostly apples as my batter looked like yours going in. I made it twice, and both times I got the same result, so am figuring that maybe I should use smaller apples to get more of a cake-like batter. On the other hand, it tasted wonderful and the guys ate all of it both times. I didn’t even have to add whipped cream to sweeten the deal…but looking at yours, I wish I had, that looks delicious!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks. I think the minimalist batter was intentional. Just enough to hold the apples together. This one might make it onto the Thanksgiving table this year.

  4. November 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Every time I see photos of this cake, I want some more. I’ll have to bake another one soon. I just love how golden brown yours looks!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks. It was really good. Today I’m making Dorie’s Long and Slow Apples. Too bad I’m discovering all these recipes so late in the Fall!

  5. Anne Marie said,

    October 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    This is my new favorite cake.

  6. evilcakelady said,

    October 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    good cal on doubling the recipe! now i wish i had done that!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      It was brilliant, except that I ate them both!

  7. Mary said,

    October 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Love the pictdure of the slice with whipped cream and the festive orange plate!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks. The plate if from Fiestaware. We live about 1 1/2 hours from the factory, and we go down and shop the seconds room every now and then.

  8. October 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Love the slices with the whipped cream – just perfect! 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      October 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks. It was as good as it looked!

  9. Renee said,

    October 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Love that you all ate both cakes!! I think the rum really added a fantastic flavor.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      Rum. Apples. Cake. What made me think I *wouldn’t* eat both of them?!?

  10. October 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Yours look fantastic! It took some serious self control to only eat one piece and then take the rest to work (I cleverly pre-cut them into slices and spaced them out a little so no one would know!).
    One question – did you not use a spring form pan? I don’t have one so I borrowed a co-workers, hence the reason I HAD to bring some to work, but would love to know if it works in regular cake pans! – Laura

    • gaaarp said,

      October 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks, Laura. I have a springform pan, but it’s 11″, so I didn’t think it would work too well for this recipe. I used two 8-inch cake pans. I buttered them and put parchment in the bottom (a trick I picked up from Nick Malgieri), and they came out fine.

  11. ap269 said,

    October 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Looks soooo delicious! One question: would you mind sending me the recipe???

  12. Flourchild said,

    October 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

    This one is a winner. Your cake looks very good! I loved how easy it was and tasted so good!!

  13. October 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I am learning that the best recipes to learn, cook, blog about are the very simple ones that would otherwise get past up in the blogosphere. This was just so perfect for so many reasons, don’t you think? Your looks just beautiful!
    Trevor Sis Boom.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 29, 2010 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks, Trevor. I am enjoying the mix of super simple and slightly more involved recipes in Dorie’s book.

  14. Audrey said,

    October 29, 2010 at 8:12 am

    definitely an understatement! 🙂 I loved this cake.

  15. beth said,

    October 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Your cake looks so tasty. Ha I think it’s great your family ate both but feel sorry for your coworkers. Nice post. B

  16. Sarah said,

    October 29, 2010 at 12:08 am

    I’m so jealous you thought ahead to making two. The one I made was so amazing, it’s almost gone less than 24 hours later! (Looks great!)

  17. Margaret said,

    October 28, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Delicious. Y’all ate both already!!! I made two and one is in the freezer. These were easy and tasty.

    They both look perfect!!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks. We had some help eating them, although I definitely had more than my share. When it comes to sweets, I’m Oscar Wilde: I can resist anything but temptation.

  18. Di said,

    October 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Looks great, Phyl! I really like your combination of apples. I can’t wait to make this one. Hopefully by this weekend I’ll be feeling better and back to baking up a storm. =)

    • gaaarp said,

      October 28, 2010 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks, Di! It was really good. I can’t believe how fast we went through two of these cakes.

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