Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

French Fridays with Dorie

Marie-Hélène's Apple CakeI don’t know who Marie-Hélène is other than she has way too many strange letter/characters in her name that aren’t on my keyboard. When I signed up for French Friday’s with Dorie I knew I would be challenged in the kitchen to make amazing things outside my usual comfort zone but I had no idea I would also have to memorize an ascii table! Anyway, whoever she is she is Dorie’s friend and I must say that Dorie describers her to sound remarkably alike my now legendary former acquaintance, Giselle. She who I have imagined might have cooked Gerard’s Mustard Tart in her country house kitchen while sipping wine and never once looking at a recipe card. I had to laugh when Dorie revealed that her good friend Marie-Hélène doesn’t cook with one either and doesn’t even seem to know what she puts in her very own Apple Cake!

Can’t you just see Giselle and Marie-Hélène strolling back through the streets of Paris after a day’s worth of shopping at expensive clothing stores and picking up nick nacks at the flea market? Their usual custom was to stop at Fauchon for a box of macarons to take home and sip with strong cups of pressed coffee as they showed off and gloated about their purchases to each other. This time however, Marie-Hélène would suggest that instead she whip (from memory) up an apple cake! And what an apple cake it would be. Giselle would have to think up a non recipe pastry of her own the next time. After all, who could go to Fauchon again after this cake?

Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake
(Geesh. I have to stop writing posts when I’m hopped up on cold medicine. )

So here is to you Marie-Hélène! Your name gives me chuckles but you make one heck of an apple cake! I still wish I could casually throw together cakes and tarts without the benefit of a recipe but in the meantime, I’m glad to have Dorie’s books for reference! This one will definitely get a replay and who knows? I might just get this one memorized!

As you know, we’re not supposed to publish the recipes for FFWD but Ms. G has already leaked the recipe to Epicurious and they have posted it here. Leftovers make an amazing breakfast sweet with coffee by the way so don’t let your guests take the extra slices home with them!


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. I like the idea of having some of this after a stroll through a flea market. 🙂 I love that first photo!

  2. Your comments about the accents in Marie-Hélène’s name were hilarious! And, your cake looks scrumptious!

  3. Beautiful cake…and I love that yours has that lovely crust!

  4. Yours is much prettier than mine and I do love the tale you tell.

  5. Your post is great. Makes me giggle and your cake looks really good. Crusty and moist at the same time. I wish I lived in France!!!! B

  6. Your cake is so beautiful! I love Fauchon, but agree that it’s not necessary after learning to bake this cake!

  7. Love your cake. The golden color is gorgeous!

  8. Your cake is lovely and brown, and I bet it was delicious with ice cream. Good job on the accents–I was far too lazy.

  9. looks fab! who needs fauchon??

  10. i love the edges. that’s my fave part. Buttercreambarbie

  11. Enjoyed your post and your cake looks lovely!

  12. Gorgeous cake! Looks perfect with that scoop of ice cream! 🙂

  13. Did you have difficulty getting the cake off of the bottom of your pan? Mine was kinda stuck….

  14. Your cake looks gorgeous. How did you get the sides so nicely browned. Only the top of mine had that beautiful color.

  15. My secret is always to Google the word I’m looking for. But I am a lazy keyboardist.

    Your cake turned out beautifully – the sides almost have the structure of a tart.

  16. Awh yummmmy….This looks so good. How I wish lived close to you. 🙂 <3 you Trevor

  17. Your cake looks great! I love your story of the two shopping and eating..very sweet!
    This recipe was so easy and the results were wonderful! My family gobbled it up!

  18. A note regarding method as it is one I employ a lot… My oven is not well calibrated so I always use an actual oven thermometer. This time I forgot to check it and noticed as the cake was finishing its allotted time that it would need more time. I upped the temp for a few minutes and after i could tell visually it was done I set the oven to broil and never took my eye off of it. Then I just quickly removed it after the top had toasted just a bit. This I’m sure had the effect of caramelizing the sides as well. My springform was a cheapo hardware store variety as I had to run out and get an 8″ pan at the last minute. That too I think worked in my favor here.
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  19. How funny Trevor – mine were Michaels’ 6″ cheap – but obviously not cheap enough. I love your browned crust – mine just wasn’t “there” for me. At any rate, no you cannot have my dishes – my grandmother’s from 1927. 🙂 And speaking of cheap, they sold depression glass like that in your grocery stores in the 30’s (for dirt cheap), if you can believe that. I love your blog and the name – just make’s one “happy”! Oh, and your cake is a smash!

  20. I’d also love to be able to whip up a cake on a whim with no recipe, but alas, that’s not gonna happen. Yours is beautiful- I love how brown the edges are. (And I was thinking just about the same thing as I was trying to figure out how to do those accents!)j

  21. LOL, what a fun post. I picture very elegant French women being glamourous and baking too. Nice job on your cake, it looks delish!

  22. Gorgeous cake! I love the crusty bits.

  23. i love the texture of your cake. and broiling it was pure genius!

  24. I could just grab that plate of cake and ice-cream right now!

  25. Trevor, So pretty. I can’t believe you haven’t missed one FFWD yet! Very impressive! And you included all the accent marks in Marie Helene’s name too! Full marks. Ha ha. Your cake looks perfect…you are a natural baker! – mary

  26. i’ve had the pleasure of having this “treat” twice. not too sweet, not too sour . . . great with tea, ice cream or all by itself!
    : )