A play in one act
Scene 1: Sunday evening, 5:00 pm. Nick and Camille return home after a much-longer-than-anticipated outing. Nick is carrying a baguette.
Nick: Hey, Snoopy. (Goes to the kitchen to set down the bread and pour glasses of water.)
Camille: Hi kitty! Did you miss us?
Snoopy: Mew! (Runs away to the living room, where she lies down on the floor.)
Camille: Oh, you need to be petted. (Kneels down and pets the cat.)
Nick: Did you have a hard day, Snoopy?
Camille (Looking at clock): Holy crap, is it five already? How long was that bike ride? Three hours?
Nick: I guess so.
Camille: Damn! I know I planned on writing a blog post, but now I don’t feel like writing anything. I want to bake a cake! And make chicken stock. That just feels more important right now.
Nick: Go for it. Do what makes you happy. I’m not going to complain about any of that.
Camille: I saw this recipe for apple-cream cheese bread on emiglia’s blog. And we need to use up some of these apples.
Camille: You know, we went on the hike and picnic? And it rained?
Camille: Anyway, we don’t have any cream cheese, so I’m going to use the rest of that goat cheese in the fridge.
Nick: Fine, and if you want to write about it…
Camille: I’m not going to write about it, I’m just making her recipe with one little change.
Scene 2: A little later. Nick is at the table, doing some work. Camille is in the kitchen, surrounded by bags of sugar and flour, measuring cups, the scale, etc. She weighs some flour and writes in her notebook.
Camille: Actually, I’m making a lot of changes. Remember that special Columbian sugar* that Nick and Becky brought us for our housewarming? I’m using it. And I’m using less of it. And changing the eggs and the leavener and the spices just a bit…
Camille: But I think it’s going to be really good. I’m excited.
Nick (Comes into the kitchen and tastes the goat cheese filling): Mmm, me, too!
Scene 3: After dinner. Nick and Camille are on the couch, watching The Daily Show on Camille’s computer.
Nick: One more, then bed?
Camille: Yes, bed.
Camille: Yeah, do you want pumpkin stuff or the apple cake I just baked?
Nick: Pumpkin. We need to eat that stuff. Besides, I want the cake for breakfast.
Camille (nodding in agreement): It WILL make an excellent breakfast.
Apple-Goat Cheese Breakfast Cake
This cake isn’t really sweet enough for dessert, but it’s just right for breakfast. Keeping the skins on the apples makes for fruity bursts throughout the cake, which could be amplified by stirring in a handful of dried cranberries or raisins, if you’re so inclined. The honeyed goat cheese filling is already a perfect accompaniment, but a smear of chunky peanut butter is always welcome.
For the cake:
1 1/3 c. / 7 oz. / 200 g unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
2 apples, cored and grated
½ c. / 4 oz. / 115 g unsalted butter, melted
¾ c. / 5.5 oz / 155 g panela pulverisada* (light brown sugar would be a fine substitute)
1 egg white (save the yolk for the filling)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the grated apple, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
For the filling:
4 oz. / 115 g fresh goat cheese
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. / 1.5 oz. / 45 g honey
pinch sea salt
1. Mash the ingredients together with a spoon until uniform.
To assemble and bake:
1. Preheat the oven to 355 F / 180 C. Butter a 9”x 4” loaf pan (22 x 10 cm or approximate equivalent).
2. Spread about two-thirds of the cake batter in the bottom of the pan. Spoon four blobs of goat cheese filling down the center. Top with remaining cake batter.
3. Bake until the cake springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few crumbs. This should take about 40-45 minutes. Cool, slice, and serve. Store any leftovers wrapped in foil, and eat within two days.
Makes one loaf, about 8 slices.
*Panela pulverisada is made by grinding blocks of evaporated cane juice to a powder. It has a faintly molasses-y aroma, and is a bit sweeter and richer than regular sugar.
On this day in 2008: The Winter Squash Saga, Part I: Lasagna
Originally published on Croque-Camille.