Apple Cream Torte

I’ve subscribed to magazines for years now. It all started with Bon Appetit (which started my original blog) and while I was a faithful reader for many years, I’ve now switched over to Food & Wine to mix it up. I’ve also gotten Sunset for a while and throw in 5280 (formerly a 7×7 in San Francisco), The Sunday New York Times and my book of the moment and I am at no shortage for reading material. After so many years I’ve gotten pretty good about tearing out or taking photos of material I want to remember, so I don’t have to keep the entire publication – but that just means instead of having a pile of magazines in my house, I have a pile of torn out pages.

Every now and then I go through and weed out the recipes that no longer look interesting, or that I’ll never really make, but rarely do I actually choose one to take action against. This weekend I was ruthless in tossing out these pages AND I managed to actually make one of the recipes!

I have many times written about how I love fruit cakes. The really simple kind where there is fruit, batter and maybe just a sprinkling of powdered sugar over the top when it’s done. I love the simplicity and not overly sweet flavor. So obviously this cake caught my eye. I had a slew of apples that were past my prime for eating raw, and figured all things were adding up to me finally trying this torte.

It was great! Just what I like. Not too sweet, a tiny bit of savoriness coming through with the apple and some variety in texture as well. The apples sink to the bottom and the cream batter (there is no butter!) creates this custard-y layer at the bottom. The recipe also starts with whipping the eggs and sugar, which give a slightly crunchy, meringue-like crust on the top.

It was a huge hit with my friends and colleagues and would be a great brunch addition or a just because cake. Isn’t it time you made a cake just because?

Apple Cream Torte – from Sunset September 2016

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 or 4) tender-sweet apples (Cameo, Fuji, or Gala)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9in springform pan
  2. Core apples (original recipe calls for keeping the apples whole, but I cut in half and then cut out the core). Peel apples. Slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds or horizontal slices.
  3. Using whisk attachment, whip the eggs and granulated sugar on high until thick, pale and fluffy about 2 min. Reduce speed to medium, add cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until evenly combined.
  4. Remove whisk (and bowl from stand mixer if using) and fold in apples until evenly coated, separating apple slices. Pour into prepared pan making sure the apple slices are flat.
  5. Bake about 1-1.25 hours until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake only comes out clean. Cool for 20 min on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the cake, remove pan rim and cool for at least 10 more min. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temp. Serves 10.

The Saturday Report: Pretzels and Comics

BAKE Pretzel Rolls. I got it in my head this weekend that I wanted a good burger. But now that Lou’s is gone (my down the street go-to for a take away burger and fries on nights in need), I decided to go all out. I thought and thought and thought and landed on buffalo burgers, on homemade pretzel rolls, with homemade herb aioli (obvs herbs from my garden) and grilled onions. They turned out great. I’m always amazed how bread really isn’t all that hard. You need more extra time than effort for most part, and just let yeast do it’s thing. Give these a try, there’s an extra step with the baking soda wash, but still nothing crazy.

 

READ New York Stories. This week’s New York Times Magazine was filled with stories. Stories about New York. Stories of all different genres. Stories recent and old. Stories all illustrated as mini graphic novels! It was so interesting. I’m not the graphic novel type, but it was so cool to see to the varying types of illustrations and how each format helped set the scene for the story it was telling. It’s pretty cool. You can check out the whole thing here.

 

new in june

DO New Things! It’s New in June, y’all! This is the sixth year in a row that I’m doing 30 new things in June. It’s kind of fun because it started in a year where I was gone most weekends in May, which inspired me to explore my city more and uncover hidden gems, and I was gone most of this May, so I’ve circled back to the same set up this June. It’s a great re-set each year for making sure that I’m not becoming too complacent and am getting the most out of wherever I am. I’m excited about the things I’ll uncover this year! Follow along on Instagram @emsbonappetit and check out past years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

The Saturday Report: Aspen, Fried Eggs and The Open Road

I’m back! It was another whirlwind week(end), but I am finally home and sticking around for a while. Last week was pretty uneventful, as I mostly rested up between weekend trips, but cue Memorial Day weekend where the fun continued!

VISIT Aspen. I’m so happy to have finally been to Aspen. I’ll write a post eventually, but for now a few highlights. Half the weekend was kind of bad weather, so there was a lot of eating and drinking involved, but we were able to end the weekend with a little walk in the woods and some natural wonder. Eat/Drink: The Monarch (sit at the bar) my favorite meal experience of the weekend; The White House Tavern, owned by the Hillstone group and just as good as the rest; Meat & Cheese, easy, tasty, plentiful, definitely worth it; J Bar, bar at the Jerome Hotel, nice, high end, old timey feel with great cocktails. Hike: Maroon Bells. It’s the main one to do and is worth it. There’s a relatively easy hike from one lake to the next, that offers some spectacular reflections and scenes. GO EARLY. See: Aspen Art Museum. I didn’t actually love the art here, but the building is awesome, the exhibits rotate pretty frequently and it’s free, so it’s worth a quick tour.

COOK Parmesan Fried Eggs. This is my current favorite thing to eat. I’ve made it twice now and it could not be more simple. I read about it in Martha Stewart Living and after watching a quick tutorial was ready to go. My new non-stick pan made it so easy, and serving a salad along side helps balance out the creamy saltiness of the egg and cheese. I thought I would miss toast, but I haven’t. It’s got all the textures and the flavors, you have to try it.

DRIVE  Leisurely. It’s been so long since I was able to take a road trip or travel somewhere without a real agenda. On both legs of the trip we took our time and didn’t have to be any where at a certain time. This allowed us to stop and take pictures, check out random restaurants and bars that we wouldn’t have otherwise sought out, and to really admire the views. If you haven’t done it lately, summer is the perfect time to crank up the radio, roll the windows down and treat yourself to a little wandering. Favorite stops: K’s in Buena Vista, Twin Lakes, Independence Pass over the Continental Divide, Bread Bar in Silver Plume

The Saturday Report: a view, a non-profit, and an artist

I touched down after my trip to SF and have been pretty much go go go since then. I just wrapped up another weekend away for some family stuff, but in addition to the travel, I managed to squeeze in some fun stuff this week too!

VIEW It’s no surprise that there’s a lot going on in Denver right now. From a growing food scene, to new residential and commercial structures, there is a ton of development in the works. A nice combo of this is El Five, a new restaurant in the highlands. The fifth floor location in the highlands has absolutely stunning views of the city and the mountains. It’s the newest property from the Edible Beats group (think Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s – some of my favorites in Denver), so the scene was fun and drinks tasty. The food was ok, I went in week 2 so I have full confidence that they will soon work out the kinks, but you have to go for the VIEW. Grab a drink, sit on the patio for sunset. The buildings reflect the sundown and downtown is quite the sight at night.

SUPPORT Comal Heritage Food Incubator. I went to a Slow Food Denver micro-grant dinner at Coperta (one of my favorite new spots), which was a lively, tasty and educational affair. The dinner was a chance to hear from three local non-profits, which were eligible for different levels of micro-grants. I voted for Comal and they won the biggest prize! Their mission reminds me a lot of La Cocina in San Francisco, and I can not wait to try it. It’s already on my New in June list. From their website: Comal Kitchen is a heritage food incubator in partnership with Focus Points, a non-profit that serves families in the Globeville and Elyira-Swansea neighborhoods. Its goal is to provide skills in culinary arts and business to a cohort of women- many originating from Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru- to maintain and celebrate their traditions through entrepreneurial ventures.

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Photo from Clyfford Still Museum

KNOW ABOUT Mark Bradford. I joined the Denver Art Museum’s young professional group last year after my trip to New York, and have loved the exhibit previews and curator walk throughs. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t make it to the Mark Bradford/Clyfford Still exhibit event, but I just didn’t know all I would be missing. The exhibit is STILL on my list, but I have been amazed at how timely it is, since he is representing The United States at the Venice Biennalle, which has driven some top coverage. He was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Arts section, as well as the cover of the LA Time Design Magazine, which I saw this weekend. It’s just amazing to me how you can not know about something and as soon as you are aware it pops up everywhere. I can’t wait to check out the Denver exhibit. He’s also in Denver next week and speaking at the DAM.

 

The Saturday Report: SF, wine country and Joni

You guys, I just had the most epic weekend in San Francisco. This could easily become a post of just that, but I will indulge you with a couple of other highlights too!

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VISIT San Francisco. It’s still home. Still comfortable. And on this trip, the wooing was quite strong, a fogless and cloudless city were only the start of a wonderful weekend. I was able to see several friends and wine and dine myself through the city, which was just what I needed. A quick recap of my favorite stops: Pastries from b. patisserie; the patio (and brunch on it) at The Tipsy Pig; Kokkari an SF institution I feel like is often not talked about, but worth every bite; drinks at Trick Dog (LOVED this atmosphere); dinner at Tartine Manufactory, this has been on my radar for a while, very good food and an awesome space; Butter, not for the faint of heart, a dive bar at it’s best with bacon shots, jello shots, and usually a good DJ.

VISIT Sonoma. There are so many wine country towns it can be hard to choose, but Sonoma is always a winner. I especially love Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Valley, but it’s 1.5 hrs away, which can really make the day feel long. Shaving off the 30 min to get to Sonoma makes it approachable and not an all day venture. We did a tasting on the patio at Gundlach Bundshu and actually enjoyed all the wines. We went to Bartholomew Park Winery after to picnic, wine not so good, but property is gorgeous and you can bring your own food. One of my favorite surprises of the day was coming across the original Williams-Sonoma store. As a former employee of the company I was sad to hear that Chuck Williams passed away a few years ago (at over 100 years old!), but was happy to have stumbled across this location so quaint and full of character. The Sonoma town square is charming and worth a walk around, and the surrounding streets between wineries are covered in trees, lined with beautiful homes and make a delightful day out of the city.

 

CALIFORNIA ~ joni mitchell

LISTEN Being in San Francisco and back in the lovely state of California made me think of the Joni Mitchell song. My mom really likes Joni, so I am familiar with some of her music, and I have always loved this one. It speaks to me as a native California with an affinity for European travel. I had just been thinking about this song while sitting in my SF guest room, when I heard it floating through the window from another apartment – what a delight. Having close neighbors isn’t all bad.

 

EAT il Posto. As if my list of SF to do’s didn’t have enough restaurants, here’s another stop – il Posto in Denver. They have a new location in Rino, and having not been to the other, I quite enjoyed it. I had a pasta with crab, leeks and asparagus, which was awesome. If you have not tried the pasta/leek/fish combo before, it really is a must. The space is striking as well, with several booths in the middle that feel like personal little cubbies due to their high upholstered walls. Can’t wait to go back and explore the menu a little more.

 

The Saturday Report: the mountains, carnitas and a dive bar

Hello Hello! I have been inspired and able to post a little more lately and while making some slight tweaks to the blog format recently (check out the new menu bar below the title), I reread the intention that I set for the blog in the about me section, which inspired this new series.

Each week I’ll be bringing you The Saturday Report – a recap on the things I did, what I cooked, and where I traveled on Saturday (or notable things from the days in between)! I want to hold myself accountable to truly not wasting any of my 52 weekends and to share the best with you. I don’t know that every single report will be chock full of amazing things, but I will sure try my hardest.

So here we go! The first report…


VISIT I have lived in Colorado for two and a half years now, yet am still very unfamiliar with the areas north of Denver, west of Vail or south of Colorado Springs, so it’s about time I got exploring. I took myself on a short day trip to Estes Park on Sunday. It’s a cute vintage town nestled at 7,500 feet, below Long’s Peak and just on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. I strolled the streets, had lunch at a very divey burger shop, treated myself to some salt water taffy, tasted some local booze with a view and visited The Stanley Hotel (famous for its role in The Shining). There is definitely more nature to be enjoyed once it’s warmer, but it was just nice to get out of down and enjoy some different and gorgeous scenery.

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COOK My friend hosted a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday evening, which turned into a long fun night to margaritas and tasty food, including AMAZING carnitas that she made from scratch. I can’t wait for an excuse to feed a crowd so I can make them myself. Orange and cinnamon, along with a low and slow cook time make these easy and delicious. Recipe courtesy of Serious Eats and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, so you know you can’t go wrong. I’d also recommend following him on instagram for great tips and inspiration. <photo is from the recipe site>

NYT

READ Not from this past weekend, but worth noting – since starting to get The New York Times Sunday paper, I’ve taken up reading the wedding section. This is probably one of the most girly things I could do, but I mostly just like reading how people met. I particularly enjoyed this article about author Michael Ruhlman and his wife Ann Hood. I know of him from his book(s) about chefs/cooking and their story is a very cute one about never giving up and staying open because you never know where the road will take you.

DO On Friday night I made my second visit to 715 Club, a dive bar in 5 Points in Denver. I’ve only been there once before, but both times they played great music, and it just has a good vibe about it. 5 Points as a neighborhood has its own storied past and is currently gentrifying, which deserves it’s own post, but the recent restaurant additions and resurrections of places like The 715 are sure to help develop the current chapter.

 

Visit: Hawaii

There are few things greater than the luxury of time. I wrote a marketing paper in college analyzing Ralph Lauren’s print campaigns and how they feature ‘upper class’ sports, tennis and polo to name a couple, which are considered as such because the time it takes to complete these long games is not something everyone has. Only a select few can take hours away from job and other responsibilities for a game. It’s an interesting concept and one that I haven’t thought about for a while, but given my recent trip to Hawaii, I can’t help but think about what true luxury it is to be able to kick back and relax for a full seven days.

Growing up in California, the chance to vacation in Hawaii was a bit more common than in other parts of the US. I didn’t realize until I embarked on this adventure from Denver, that it is nearly as far as a trip to Europe, making it all the more special. I can’t remember the last real vacation I took, one where you don’t have to think that hard and really come back rested and relaxed, so this trip was much needed and very much appreciated. We had the very good fortune to stay that the amazing home of some family friends, which meant lots of pool time, sleeping in and showering outdoors! We had a nice mix of relaxing days and adventuring days, after which I came home sans bags under my eyes and a fresh tropical glow to my skin. I couldn’t have asked for a better spring rejuvenation.

Here are the things I would highly recommend:

  • Molokini Snorkel trip with Trilogy – Not only did we go to Molokini but we went to a sea turtle location, seriously one of the coolest experiences I have had. We were up close to some rocks and saw 4 or so of them floating along just under the surface, feeding when they got close enough. I don’t like swimming with fish in general, but the sea turtles are non-threatening, albeit huge, and were such a sight under water. Trilogy also provided breakfast, a hearty lunch and cocktails to enjoy while the sails were raised for the trip home!
  • Surfing Goat Dairy – We spent one day in Upcountry and made a few stops including the dairy, but it was my favorite. Baby goats are just SO DARN CUTE and we got to feed them!! The tour is worth it, you get tour the property, feed the babies, learn the process and taste some cheese! Other stops we made – Ali’i Kula Lavender farm is a gorgeous property and while MauiWine didn’t have my favorite wines a tasting there with lunch across the street at Ulupalakua Ranch Store is worth it.
  • Tin Roof – The restaurant of two time Top Chef alum Sheldon Simeon is great. A little hole in the wall in an industrial area has limited seating and is only open from 10-2, but is worth timing it just right. He offers a small variety of seafood over rice and a daily fish special, but the chicken is a house specialty and very very tasty. You can also get dashi in a cup to go that I wish I had tried!
  • Kihei Beaches – There are so many beaches, it’s hard to go wrong, but we found beaches in Kihei to be slightly less populated and less windy than others. Be sure to go early regardless to avoid crowds and winds.
  • Paia Fish Market – The original location is in the cute northern town of Paia (also the town with my favorite snow cone of the trip) but the one we went to was in Lahaina. A variety of fresh fish you can have prepared one of a few ways, all of our dishes were cooked well and very large portions.
  • Local Markets/Produce – We stumbled across a cute farmer’s market across the street from Launipoko beach on our last day (only open Saturday from 8-12). It only had four stands, but the variety was great, everything from fresh baked banana bread to eggs to fruit to freshly made juices. I saw a few road stands to buy produce across the island, but not all of the goods were locally sourced, where as all of the folks here were selling goods from their own backyards or kitchens, which tasted wonderful and felt great.
  • The River of Doubt – Not related to Maui specifically, but I have to give a plug for my current favorite non-fiction book. If you have not read The River of Doubt go out and pick it up now. You will not be disappointed. It is about Teddy Roosevelt’s trip down an uncharted river in the Amazon in 1914. He is a pretty remarkable person and this book that reads like a novel is filled with adventure, history and keeps you wondering about how it all turns out.

// view from the house //// back yard beauties //// a glorious sunset //// pool approach //// banyan tree details //// sunset from Lahaina //// sailing day – look up//// sailing day – look down //// mai thai on the boat / Paia snow cone //// Surfing Goat Dairy – the December kids //// upcountry roads //// Alii Kula Lavendar farm details //// Maui Wine //// Ulupalakua Ranch Store – local beef, elk and lamb burgers //// Paia Fish Market in Lahaina //// Tin Roof / garlic shrimp //// upcountry cow //// last beach day //// last sunset //// Launipoko Farmer’s Market //// local eggs //// fresh produce //