It was Stephanie’s birthday this past weekend so I went to Martha (via Erica and Kea) for some inspiration! When I was up in Ottawa I started to make the chocolate hazelnut meringue cake with Kea, but flew off before it was done, so I had to look it up when I got home! But clafoutis is Steph’s favorite, so I had to make that too!

Clafoutis here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/cherry-clafouti-2

Chocolate cake here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/chocolate-and-hazelnut-meringue-cake

They were both a hit. Normally clafoutis is a pancake batter baked with cherries. This particular recipe tasted more like a flan with fruit in it…still good but not quite what we were expecting (those of us who knew what to expect…everyone else just happily ate it)! Apart from pitting the cherries (and really, as long as you’re being slightly inauthentic, you could use any other fruit), this is a super fast tart, so great for a last minute project (you could almost make it when your guests are already over).

The other cake was a flourless chocolate cake, deliciously dense, with the lighter, crunchy meringue to top it off. Valerie said her friend just made it too, so the recipe is making the rounds (even though it was first published in 2003)!

Sunday morning was a perfect comedy of errors. I got up early to bake, but I tried to be quiet because Vernon was still asleep. As I opened the oven door all the bowls I store in there (yes, ovens are cabinets in NY) came crashing onto the floor. 5 minutes later I dropped my favorite mixing bowl and broke it (CRASH) and finally when I opened the oven to put the cake in, smoke billowed out. Mad dash for a chair so I could reach the smoke alarm, which was (of course) stuck to the wall, because we just painted. After it had gone off for about 30 seconds I finally yanked it off! Poor V. pretended he didn’t hear a thing! 🙂

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