Sunday, 4 January 2009

Apple-Rhubarb cake and other musings

I am finally back in Paris and am sad that the holiday season is over. This past holiday was the first one in years during which I didn't travel abroad. I have family in Israel and regularly go there and am generally off somewhere with Marc. But having 10 days just to be at home, to cook and sleep and read was wonderful. Even for NYE, Marc and I just stayed in and made our risotto (it has become a tradition!). I am turning into an old woman!

I have just finished reading a really fun book by Britain's first fashionista and style journalist: Lucia Van der Post. It is called 'Things I wish my mother had told me: lessons in grace and elegance'.

The book is all about how to wear the little black dress, makeup, where to buy beautiful perfume, tips for decorating the house, buying gifts and food etc. It was cleverly written, witty and entertaining. The tips were often more for people with limitless means, and yet it was an inspiring and fun read. She is extremely gifted for being able to talk about essentially frivolous things in such an intelligent way. I was curious, after all her talk of the importance of grooming and making an effort, to see what she looks like. And what I found were pictures of a 'grandmother' who looks so much more beautiful now than she did 20 or 30 years ago. If that isn't an advert for grooming and having a personality when one dresses, I don't know what is. I for one am inspired.

Here is a younger picture of her:

And a more recent photo:

Onto a different topic, I wanted to share with you the simplest of cake recipes, but one that I nevertheless adored. I love a simple, not too sweet and moist cake. Since rhubarb was on offer in the supermarket I added it to the cake (I love rhubarb!) but it is not at all necessary. This has got to be the easiest cake to make in the world!


2 apples, peeled and roughly diced
1/2 cup of oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar (though you can add more if you prefer - I don't like my cakes too sweet)
2 cups flour


Just mix all the ingredients in the bowl and stir in the apples at the end. Grease your loaf pan, pour in mixture and bake in oven for about 35 mins at 200.

*if you are adding rhubarb, then cook this (I had 400g) in a saucepan by adding about a glass of water and 6 tablespoons of sugar and a knob of butter until you get a runny-jamlike texture and the rhubarb has largely disintegrated. Then layer this into the cake mixture. I poured in half my mixture, then added a layer of rhubarb, then poured in the rest of the mixture. It was yummy!