Monday, January 24, 2011

In the Birthday Spirit of Sharing . . .

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What with all the talk about birthdays of late, I thought it fairly self evident that some of you would not be able to sleep easily for weeks to come if I did not share with you a glimpse or two of what la Grenouille created in the way of a birthday cake. Even though the fateful day was last week, we only got around to celebrating properly on Sunday, as I was hard at work in the factory through Saturday. So here it is. A cherry cake with lots of delicious cherries baked into it. As well as a layer of chocolate at the bottom which you can see in the second photo if you look carefully. And who was it who said, "If there's no bread, let them eat cake" ?
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I was too late for Jame's Reflection Weekend series this week, but am there in spirit. As you can see here, some mice have stopped by our kitchen to help themselves of this preposterously good tasting cake. I wouldn't bet much on its chances of surviving 48 hours at the outside. In fact, as of this writing, it is already half gone. . . You'd best hurry on over here if you'd like to sample it !
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64 comments:

Miss Mouse said...

Mm, chocolate cherry cake! I made blueberry cake last weekend, I will have to try this recipe soon. Love your photos!

Lorrene said...

A mighty tasty looking cake.

Stickup Artist said...

It all looks so warm and wonderful. "Nothin say lovin like somethin from the oven!" That shot with the reflection of the cake in the way cool retro metal toaster is beyond fabulous. I love it! Perfectly composed and colored. Now that I'm finally getting around to studying photographers, it puts me in mind of a less garish William Eggleston. I just watched a documentary about him. What a character!

nathalie said...

Owen that's very mean of you - I'm cold, lonely and having my morning tea - a piece of this would be the perfect complement to brighten up my day.

The reflection in the toaster is fantastic! I do worry about how fast the cake is disappearing though...

pRiyA said...

That is SUCH a pretty polka dotted cake!

Steve said...

They must have been very neat mice, in my opinion! A cake fit for a lord! And Lord, I hope you enjoyed it!

mythopolis said...

Oh YUM!

Nevine said...

That cake looks absolutely scrumptious! Your wife did a lovely... and loving... job. I hope you all spent a wonderful time celebrating together. After all, birthdays do stop being about the gifts when we get older, and do start to become about sharing the moments with the ones we love.

Wishing you a brilliant new year in your life, Owen!

Nevine

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Delightful cake for you even if you did have to wait a bit... Considering your cake-eating quote, I woudn't lose my head over it!

Cherries and chocolate... miam-miam!

Bises,
Genie

...louciao... said...

Hmmm...funny...just this morning I was photographing reflections in my coffee carafe. Nothing looked anywhere near as fabulous, or domestically romantic, as this cake, though.

Mary Ann said...

Please do post the recipe--I want something delicious enough to be called preposterous.

Pastelle said...

Jamais goûté, chocolat cerise, et voilà que j'ai pris un kilo rien qu'à regarder les photos !
Une belle idée que le reflet dans le grille pain ! :)

Amanda said...

that torte looks utterly amazing....the combination of cherries and chocolate is too decadent to imagine.

i believe belated birthday wishes are in order --- here's to a fabulous year ahead of you owen!!

Loulou said...

Of course!!!!!
"The Best"... is la Grenouille!
From my window here in india, this cake is absolutely.....delhi-cious.... Grrrr
Lucky you
ps - What a GREAT SHOT that the second one!!!! :-)
Bises
Loulou

Owen said...

Dear Miss Mouse,
You sound positively dangerous, between blueberry cake and wanting to try making something like this too ! Armed with mixing spoons and dangerous, yep, I can tell. I'll bet there are outstanding warrants for you... Your profile photo is probably posted on the FBI website... and in post offices across the country.

Good luck in this endeavor.

PS Just noticed in your profile where you said you like Greg Brown's music... he's a trip. I think my favorite by him is Cold & Dark & Wet... or was it Wet & Cold & Dark ???

Owen said...

Lorrene, you have a good eye for flavor, I can tell... !
:-)

blue eyed night owl said...

That cake looks great! I just ate a pear and chocolate muffin, but this makes me hungry all over again.

I've been meaning to thank you for your comment on my blog, sorry I'm so late.
Thanks for all the tips, I'll definitely keep my eyes and ears open for the close-up cd's.
So far I haven't been able to find that version of Caramel yet, so if the offer still stands I'd love to hear it.

Have fun at the concert!

Owen said...

Stickup, you got it, exactly, what is it also said : Cooking is love made visible... I never heard the one "Nothin' say lovin' like something from the oven"... that's priceless.

Glad you like the retro toaster, it's like what I remember from long ago when I was little...

Owen said...

Nathalie !
I know, I'm a very mean-spirited person; have been working hard at cultivating that quality all my life.

But you cold and lonely ??? That will never do... We'll have to send you some blankets, and some hugs and smiles. How can you be lonely with all the company you have day in and day out on Avignon in Photos ???

Hmmm, I wonder if cherry chocolate cake can be sent in the mail ? But I fear there will be none left after tonight's dinner meal and dessert... Yes, I fear the worst...
:-)

Lot's of smiles and warmth to you though...

Owen said...

Dear Priya, flattery will get you everywhere, but it can't bring back what is already gone...
:-)

Owen said...

Steve, the cats around here have the mice trained very well... they allow the mice to fatten up on cake... and then they eat them ! Doubly delicious that way...

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Je suis certaine qu'il n'en reste même plus maintenant!!!!! Un gâteau comme celui-ci, on n'y résiste pas...
Il reste les photos pour nous régaler!

C'est bien vu le reflet dans le grille pain!!!!

Owen said...

Hi Myth, couldn't have put it better myself...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Nevine, at least three tablespoons of love went into that recipe, along with two cups of charm, a pinch of kindness, and it was baked with plenty of warmth and smiles... the best kind of cooking !

Owen said...

Hi Genie, one could definitely lose one's head over this !

Owen said...

Dear Lynne,
The snow and cold finally kept you in ??? You know we are getting on in life when all we find to photograph are reflections in our toasters or coffee carafe... was that before or after you put your teeth in ?
:-)
Who started this thing about teeth, anyway ? Like you with your songs, I can't get that out of my head now. Will make a concerted effort to do so... Hope the Dylan helped...

Owen said...

Hi Mary-Ann, La grenouille was asked about the recipe, and said she'll be happy to give me a copy to be mailed or posted or whatever, but she needs to polish it up a little to make it presentable... Do you think you can wait a few days ? I know that is asking a lot ! Hang in there...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Pastelle,
Une promenade de 10 kms est fortement conseillé après avoir eu la temerité de pécher dans cette manière là, aussi irrésistible que ce gateau pourrait paraître !

J'espère que ce kilo sera rapidement perdu, aussi rapidement qu'il était pris, car je ne souhaiterais pas avoir la conscience alourdie avec un sentiment de coupabilité, d'être tenu responsable d'avoir fait prendre des kilos à qui que ce soit en affichant ces photos... non, ce serait insoutenable...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Amanda,
I've always loved chocolate covered cherries, but to get the two wrapped up in a cake was a new and joyful experience... not at all similar to black forest chocolate cake with cherries, which is also terribly decadent. (not that I'm a specialist in these sorts of things, I'm simply an opportunistic glutton for chocolate and cherries !)
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Loulou, You are so right, la Grenouille is Ze Best !!! And if you give us a little advance warning the next time you're coming through town, I'm sure she could have something like this ready for when you get here, to help get over the "ggrrrr" factor...
:-)

Am I so deeply sorry for publishing the cake pictures here, if they caused pangs of hunger or any serious salivation issues for anybody...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Blue Eyed Owl,
Mmm, pear and and chocolate muffin sounds good too... isn't it terrible all the temptations there are in life ?!?

I was just reading your review and watched the trailer of The Kids Are Alright, sounds good, I'd like to see it...

You're very welcome...

Owen said...

Chère Chrys,
Au cas où tu pensais faire une visite nocturne sans être annoncée dans notre cuisine, un aller-retour dans la nuit, c'est trop tard !!! Il ne reste que des miettes !!! If va falloir être plus rapide la prochaine fois...
:-)

Lena said...

Oh nummy! I will have to go get me some cherries now!! Cherries and chocolate... Bliss!
I love the toaster photo!! (I will have to get my cam out of it's hideout and play a bit with it... I haven't in quite a while...)
Warmest hugs!!

Owen said...

Lena,
How about chocolate covered cherries in liqueur then ? I think la Maison de Chocolat in Paris has the best I've ever had... they melt in the mouth...

...louciao... said...

"Self Portrait Without Teeth as Reflected in the Morning Pot of Coffee"

:-D (note lack of teeth in smile)

So what was the Dylan song I didn't get to hear? Hum me a few bars...oh wait till I get my hearing horn plugged into my ear...

Owen said...

Ah, you couldn't even see the title of the video before the censors blacked it out ???

It was a really fine rendition of Tangled Up In Blue...

A pox on Sony Music...

The Sagittarian said...

wow, Le grenouille must be rather keen on you to produce such a masterpiece! Lucky Toad. The Stud had his birthday on Sunday (hence no Silent Sunday, had my head in a vat of bubblie) but he only got an ordinary chocolate cake....

Lydia said...

I have never seen such a cake...don't think one like it has ever been baked in the U.S. (well, maybe, but...) It is gorgeous and must taste like a dream.
We have a toaster that is a sibling to yours.

Many thanks for the wonderful translation at my blog for last week's Old Postcard Wednesday. I left a reply there but wanted to send more appreciation here.

The Pliers said...

In the wind is a drafty place from which to write, but I do love a clafoutis aux cerises!

Thought of you as we were, unnecessarily, circling Terminal 1, perennially under construction...

Peter said...

A similar cake at my place would not have survived its first hour!

... and I believe tha Marie-Antoinette never said it. It was part of those days' propaganda. But who knows really?

... and I notice that I have exactly the same roaster.

Sylvie de said...

Oups !... sorry dear Beau'f I miss the D day... please forgive me for the 5 days delay to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!! Love from Beirut. La Belle's

Looking for Siddhartha said...

Owen, I am so sorry, I missed to wish you Happy Birthday! Could you accept my best wishes still now?!
The cake looks very tasty! Mmmmh!!!

Have a very nice day!

Renée

Dee Newman said...

The cake looks scrumptious, but is it vegan?

ρομπερτ said...

Haven't eaten cake for years now already - for sure an alluring sight. May time and life continue to treat you all kind.

me said...

YUM! it was your birthday?
if so Happy day to you!

...louciao... said...

But that's incredible! When I finished listening to the Dead song you sent, I immediately went from there to listen to Dylan doing Tangled up in Blue! I mean, BEFORE I read your note here. Some sort of weird psychic connection going on? Well, sibs, and all that, I guess.
{:-)

Owen said...

Dear Saj, ah, so the stud is born around now too ??? I've always said that the end of January was a very fine vintage indeed... children of spring love...
:-)
And absolutely, as long as she keeps producing masterpieces like this, I guess she's still keen on me, I'm a lucky lucky guy...

Owen said...

Hi Lydia, you are very welcome, if I can help translate, anytime... well, as long as it's not as long as War & Peace...
:-)
Yeah, I don't know that I remember seeing any creations quite like this one in the US... but surely someone has... no ?

Owen said...

Dear Pliers, I must CALL you, I'm so snowed under right now it's not even funny, but I will give you a ring shortly... am going to be on vacation in February for a while, hope to get to see you two... And if you're back at CDG, do give me a buzz... you still have the portable, right ?

Owen said...

Peter!
Either you have a serious appetite or there are a lot of mice in your kitchen ???

So the cake quote could be fiction ? I wonder, it certainly is a widespread myth, if such is the case...

Owen said...

Chère Belle'S,
Merci merci merci... quel plaisir de te lire !!! En esperant que les choses restent calme là où tu es... et oui le jour est venu, et c'est reparti aussi vite, et c'est toujours moi à la base, pas de changement... c'est fou comme le temps passe, mais on ne voit pas les changements, bien que ça change...

Grandes bises amicales et fraternelles !
:-)

Owen said...

Tag Renée, of course, of course, from you I will accept them any day of the year... I don't see why birthdays should just be one day...

Mille fois merci...

Owen said...

Hi Dee, we are both more or less organically inclined, and this cake only has chocolate, cherries, organic flower, unrefined sugar, however, a lot of butter... is butter vegan ??? if not, we're in trouble I guess... (but it was good anyway...)
:-)

Owen said...

Robert, oh my, that is tragic news indeed, unless it is by choice... surely there is someone near you who would love to bake you a cake to make visible their love ??? I wish it for you...

Owen said...

Thanks Me ! It was indeed, just the other day...

Ah yes, I was humming,

"I was so much older then, I'm younger then that now..."

:-)

Owen said...

Lynne, that's nuts...

Have you seen Clint's latest film, Hereafter ??? Could almost start believing in all sorts of connections... But yes, maybe you read my mind... why not... Hope that cleared the cobwebs out anyway. How's the sound through that big brass horn ???
:-)

...louciao... said...

Have not seen Hereafter. Will have to see if it's out on rental.

Sound is pretty good with the horn in, but helps to have the teeth in as well for a little extra reverb.

Speaking of hearing, have you seen (heard) The King's Speech? Excellent film.

TheChieftess said...

Yummy!!

Amy said...

Happy belated birthday, Owen!

That cake looks just perfect (and delicious).

Roxana said...

haaaa the CAKE! and even in double :-)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Many Happy Returns!

However if I had a French partner, much though I like cherries, I would hope for something iced in baroque - a representation of Versailles in cake perhaps? That's probably why I haven't got one! ; -)

Deborah said...

Discovering clafouti was the biggest revelation of my baking career after fast-rising yeast. So easy, so adaptable. Made with rhubarb or berries of almost any kind, it's wonderful. But I never imagined putting a layer of chocolate on the bottom!

Oh and Owen? I think there's a relative of yours living on the steps to our outdoor cellar.

James said...

And you thought you were late.
I may have missed the beautiful cake but I still get to see it's reflection. Plus I said Happy Birthday early. :)

Ola said...

mmmmm, delicious!