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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

[Sharlotka] Basic Russian Apple Cake - Easy cake

I think I said this before, but let me repeat.

I love apples, raw, cooked, baked and uber-sweet.
I eat three apples a day. Mr.D thinks we should plant a few apple trees in our backyard as his wife is a serious apple killer/eater.
I try many different recipes that use apples. And majority of the recipes is dessert. It's not even surprising.
When I saw the recipe of
sharlotka at Smitten Kitchen,

it looked a lot like Italian apple cake or Torta di mele which I make quite often.

It looked so good that I decided to make it right a way, and made it. I made it three more times with very little time intervals. It is that good.

The best part of this cake is that it is so easy to make. I can't imagine how you could possibly fail the recipe. Sharlotka is a basic Russian apple cake.

I personally prefer eating sweet stuff before noon and try to avoid sweet things until the following a.m.
So I usually bake treats in the night and eat it for breakfast. Does this  make sense?
Well, anyway I like sweet breakfast. I love dutch baby~

This apple sharlotka became one of our favorite breakfast items fast.
Here goes the recipe:

Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths
3 large eggs
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
Ground cinnamon, to finish
Powdered sugar, also to finish

How to make

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Butter the paper and the sides of the pan.

3. Peel, and core your apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks.

4. Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan.

5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs.

6. Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.

7. Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples.

8. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter.

9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack before flip out onto another rack. Peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter.

11. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

12. Then, dust lightly with icing sugar.

Serve warm or cooled.

Don't  you think it's easy? If you are not wure, try it! You will love it.

Apple Sharlotka

Monday, April 23, 2012

[Birthday Party] Skating party for the birthday boy who turned 8!

Today is April 23rd and it snowed heavily this morning in Ottawa.

This was the photo I took at 7 in the morning.
It's amazing to see snow in April every year.
Well, it's not rare that we have snow in May either.
Thank goodness,
snow all melted as the temperature went up to 5 degrees Celcius(=41 degrees Fahrenheit)

Winter doesn't want to go, just yet.
Remi was born on April 16th, 2004. So we considered him a "(quasi) winter" baby.
I can't believe it was already 8 years ago when I gave birth to Remi.
8 years flew by.
He was born 7lbs 10 oz with 20 +1/2 inches of length.
 He is now nearly 52 inches and 51 lbs.

We try to have a party with a different theme every year.
He had a pizza baking & cupcake decorating party two years ago before he had a party at the Aviation museum last year.
This year, Remi's birthday party theme was "skating" and he invited all his classmates and some other friends. Surprisingly, some of invités couldn't come because they didn't skate. It is surprising, only because it's hard to imagine not to skate in Ottawa where the winter is so long, and because we have the longest skating rink, i.e. Rideau canal, in winter. On top of that, this is the city where the national & the "virtually" only sport played is hockey!
But, anyway, most kids could make it to the party and we had a great time.

We rented a Bell Sensplex rink for an hour. My friends from other cities and countries thought it was an extravagant party. But, actually it was not, at least in a city where there are at least a few dozen ice rinks. :)

Here are some photos from the party:

As there was any skating aid avilable at the facility,
we had to substitute folding chairs for skating aids.

To make chair stable somebody has to sit on the chair for the skaters who needed skating aids.

Pablo was the lightest kid so that he was a popular customer on the ice :)

He was a skater with a free mind too~

And here is the birthday boy on the chair.

A few parents joined and hit on the ice.

It was great to have other parents that lended hands.

Funny enought that most kids preferred pushing chairs rather than sitting on a chair.

Pushing fun~

Mr.D also joined the fun of pushing chairs.

Super fast birthday boy.

The birthday boy's brother had a solemn moment~

I don't know if it's only to  me, but he still looks like a baby, especially on the ice.

Free skating time.
majority of kids, both boys and girls, wear  hockey skates in Canada.
Mainly because it's more popular and a lot of girls play hockey just like boys.

The regular ice rink looked so large when it was filled with only about 30 people, mostly with kids 8 or under.

This looks a little crowded. Nice!

 The birthday package included a group insurance, for just in case.
It was great that nobody got injured or needed a first aid kit.

My friend's son couldn't join us on the ice since he had a cast on his left arm.
Pablo got a honour to make a little drawing on the cast.

After skating we all moved to "Stanley's" restaurant for pizza party.

I took the photo after serving pizza, i.e. after most kids finished their second slices.

Parents and grown-up friends were served later. (Sorry~)

There were enough food.
The package includes 4 X-Large pizza since, I guess, the package was designed also for the teenagers who can eat everything.

After pizza, chips & salsa,
Candle-lighted birthday cake was brought to the birthday boy.
Cake was not included in the birthday package. I didn't mind as you might guess.
I love baking cakes.

I baked a maple cake with maple frosting on it, by the request of the birthday boy.

I've never seen a kid who doesn't like blowing candles.

My kids blow candles on my birthday cake or Mr.D's birthday cake.
They even want to light the candles on Christmas cake too.

Fortunately, all the kids liked the cake.

Can you imagine how much Remi was excited to see all these presents?
I think birthday kids are excited about presents and the invited kids are exciated about the loot bags.
What do you think? :)

It was a great party.
This year Pablo will have a birthday party for the first time as he is turning 6.
His birthday is in July. Therefore, it will not be a skating party.
 Stay tuned :)

Skating Birthday Party