This month’s Fandom Foodies theme, hosted by The Hungry Bookworm, is Magical Realism, one of my favorite genres of fiction – and let’s be honest, the one I wish I was living in. Find lots of magical realism dishes using #MagicalRealFood.
Amelie is an adorably quirky film, one of my favorites of all time. Romantic and twee, and even a bit dark at times, it’s a movie for dreamers – and times are hard for dreamers.
In a sweetly heartbreaking scene, Amelie does what a lot of us do when miserable which is sad-baking. For her that means her famous plum cake. I never really knew what her plum cake was supposed to be, only that it was a yeast cake which seemed interesting and unusual. On latest viewing I dug into it a little and was introduced to kouign amann, a cake from Brittany, that is made with a yeast dough, and then folded and rolled into layers of butter and sugar, then baked until it is nice caramelized. With all the folding and layering, there’s opportunity for fillings, such as chocolate, cinnamon, jam, or fresh fruit.
For my first try, this wasn’t bad. Lessons to take away:
- It was a little dense, so next time I might try my pizza dough method, which is to add the flour gradually until it juuuuuust makes a dough, rather than add it all at once.
- Also, as you can see, caramelization is good, but there’s always too much of a good thing – I’ve complained before about my oven running hot (and yet, forgot to check how things were going along the way), so my cake got veeeery caramelized, and even a little burnt in spots. Next time I’ll lower the heat a bit and babysit it a little better.
- Finally, as plums are not in season I used plum preserves, which was definitely tasty, but a little messy as it leaked out of the dough, onto my counters, and into the oven as well (I had to slide a sheet pan underneath to catch the drips). While this is still a legit version, I’m excited to try it with fresh fruit, so that’s the plan come July or August.
Amelie’s Famous Plum Cake (Prune Kouign Amann)
Rather than transcribe the entire recipe, I’m just going to link to David Leibovitz’s as I pretty much did that exactly, and he has very detailed instructions as well as pictures along the way (the folding pattern can get a little confusing without a visual).
The only thing I did differently was replacing one of the 1/4 cups of sugar with several tablespoons of plum preserves. Again, just a note, that you may have to adjust temperature and cooking time to your oven.
This dish was first posted for Fiction Kitchen Episode 38: AMELIE in which Carrie and Diana discuss the 2001 French film in which times are hard for dreamers, but things work out ok. Plus, cherry earrings, cracking crème brûlée, plum cake, endives, and scribbles for nibbles.