Happy Birthday To Me! Caramel Apple Torte From My Special Guest, Chef Dennis!!!

Caramel Apple Tarte by Chef Dennis

Yah baby, you read that right. It’s my birthday. Today is mah birthday! Your favourite Lunatic was born on January 20th, 19- *mumbles and covers her mouth* something or other. The day the world was rocked by my presence in it. Yup, no ego here folks. *grins from ear to ear*

As you know I guest posted for the wonderful Dennis *foodie rock star* at A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis last month. I made eclairs for the first time evah! So good and shockingly easy. Or beginners luck I think. I made them a second time and they bombed big time. I mean they stank up the joint. It happens occasionally. Not often cuz I rock in the kitchen (true dat), but once in a blue moon something goes wrong. Anyhow long story…er…longer, while I had Chef Dennis under the power of my eclairs and he was not thinking clearly, I took full advantage of him and asked him to guest post here at the asylum. And not just any guest post or any recipe. I, having no personal regard for boundaries, asked Chef Dennis to bake me a birthday cake. Yup, that’s how I roll folks. No fear folks, fear is for wussies! I was delighted when Dennis said yes. I am sure it had nothing to do with the sugar high. I’ve been so curious what my cake would be. I generally give my guests full rein here at the asylum. When I got the photos I was stunned. It’s ah-mah-zing!!! Thank you so much Dennis, I am so touched and honoured you agreed to bake me a cake. Now without further ado, here is the man who puts the buzz in foodbuzz, the grace in gracious, and the apples in my slamming birthday cake!!! I give you *oh, ah, loud applause* the amazing Chef Dennis!

I would like to welcome you all to Cravings of a Lunatic!  Today is a very special day; it’s my friend Kim’s Birthday!!   I was so honored when she asked me to do a guest post for her birthday post, and so happy that it fell on a time when I was able to do it.  For those of you that don’t know me, I’m chef Dennis and besides keeping my blog going, I have the privilege of feeding 560 of the best girls in the whole world, at Mount Saint Joseph Academy, in Flourtown Pa.

As you can imagine I keep a busy schedule as a working chef / unit director / culinary Instructor….sigh, so when Kim told me the date , I was overjoyed to be able to guest post for her!  I have to tell you the first time I got an email from Kim, and the heading said Lunatic, I thought it was spam…..luckily I opened it, and got a very nice message from a new blogger.  Now every time I see the word Lunatic in the header it makes me smile!
So at this time I would like to wish you a very happy birthday my friend, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do to help make our community stronger, for your friendship and your support……and since I knew it was your birthday, I baked you a cake!
A few weeks ago I made a chocolate chip ricotta torte, and the cake itself was really delicious, so I thought I would give it a try with apples instead of ricotta and the results were amazing, especially with a little extra caramel drizzled over top, the only thing missing was the vanilla ice cream!   So if you do make it serve it up with a big scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream, Enjoy!
Caramel Apple Torte

Inspired by a recipe from “Cooking with Patty”

Cake aka crust
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
12 oz very cold butter sliced thinly
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2  large eggs
3 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Filling and Caramel Sauce
6 medium apples (I used gala)
½ cup brown sugar
2 oz butter
2 oz heavy cream
1.      Peel the apples and cut into small slices or chunks, then set aside
2.     In a sauté pan heat the sugar until it starts to brown, don’t stir the sugar, but try to keep it moving by rolling the pan around.
3.     As the sugar melts and browns add the butter and mix it in using a wooden spoon. Add in the heavy cream, just be careful it doesn’t splash up on you, mixing in the cold cream can be a bit tricky. Stir until smooth.
4.     Add in the apples and allow to simmer for a bit, to get in some of the caramel flavor
5.     Remove the apples from the caramel letting them drain a bit so they are not too wet, and allow to cool a bit.
6.     In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients for the crust together, except the butter
7.     Cut the butter into very thin slices and add it to the mixture working it in gently, you don’t want the butter to blend in, the mixture should be chunky.*
8.     Press half of the mixture gently into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan that has been greased with butter and dusted with flour. (do not mash it down!)
9.     Add the apples to the bottom layer and spread evenly.
10.  spread the remaining crust mixture evenly on top of the apples
11.  Bake in a preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes at 350° or until a toothpick stuck in comes out clean
12.  The remaining caramel sauce will have thinned out from the juice in the apples, allow it to simmer and reduce until it has re-thickened.
13.  Drizzle the torte with your caramel sauce and enjoy!
14.  The Caramel Apple Torta is best served warm or at room temperature.
* put the butter in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes before slicing it.
*you can press down the crust on top of the filling but be very gentle, the crust forms as the butter melts, giving the cake that rustic look.
And that my friends is my Caramel Apple Torte, thanks for stopping by today and thank you Kim for allowing me to share your blog on this very special day,  Happy birthday!

Thank you so much Chef Dennis. I am so happy with my cake and so grateful to call you my friend. You do so much to better the blogging community and we are lucky to have someone like you. Your integrity and class raise the bar for the rest of us. And speaking of class, if I could just drag you to the dark side and get you swear like a sailor when we finally meet in person I’ll be one happy Lunatic.

Okay Lunatic fans make sure you head over A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis and sufficiently stalk him. Dennis does a series called Ask Chef Dennis that will blow your mind. He shares information folks. About blogging. How cool is that? I know right! He’s sweet, kind and supportive. This man can cook my friends. He always delivers, with decadent treats and meals that would make restaurants jealous.  It doesn’t get much better folks. You can also find him on TWITTER, PINTEREST, GOOGLE +, and FACEBOOK. Tell him the Lunatic sent you over to stalk his a**!

Now as a little bonus I am announcing a giveaway for my birthday. Please come back tomorrow evening to see what surprises I have in store for you. It’s a birthdaypalooza here this weekend. Your going to  want to wear you best party hats for this folks. 3 days of birthday posts. First cake, then presents and then ice cream. Yup, we’re rocking it Lunatic style. So get your streamers and sound those silly little horns. I want a partah! 
                                                                                    Courtesy and rights go to Youtube!

Toodles and big birthday smoochies.xx

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  1. Kels @ K and K Test Kitchen says

    Happy Birthday Kim! Hope your day was as fabulous as you are! What a great post by Chef Dennis, that cake looks divine.

    Hope Mini-Me is feeling better too!

  2. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) says

    First of all, Happy Birthday! And your post made me smile. :) Ask and you shall receive, right? I'm glad to see Chef Dennis posting here and with a beautiful birthday cake, no less! Looks perfect for a special day!

  3. Terra says

    WOO HOO!!! Happy Happy Birthday, it is officially KimFest2012 :-) What a great way to celebrate your special day, I adore Chef Dennis and his blog! That cake rocks, I am imagining eating a piece, YUM:-) Sending Hugs, Terra

  4. SugarSpunHun says

    Happy birthday! I'm new to your blog, here because of a tweet from Chef Dennis. Your blog looks as divine as his birthday treat! Your a lucky lady and I look forward to future posts!!

  5. Kim Bee says

    Kels you are so sweet. Thank you so much. He knocked my cake out of the park.
    She is still pretty sick. Weird infection or something. Tests all came back negative so we'll be going back in if it keeps up for more than a couple more days. Poor kid!

  6. Kim Bee says

    Thank you so much. I am so happy you stopped by. Look forward to getting to know you better. Hope I can impress you with my baking. xx

  7. Kim Bee says

    Thanks Ann. I feel the same way. Who else would I spend 3 hours on the phone with, love ya and thanks for the comment and the call. xx

  8. Kim Bee says

    Hi Erika. Thank you so much. Oh you must stop by his blog. He is such an inspiration to fellow bloggers. I would be lost without his advice.

  9. ping says

    OOOO, I'm so envious! That's a gorgeous cake! If someone would bake me something for my birthday …. sigh. If not, I guess I'll just have to bake this for myself! Happy Day, Kim!

  10. Katherine Martinelli says

    Happy happy birthday Kim!!!!! What a great guest post and perfect birthday torte. It looks delicious!!

  11. Kim Bee says

    Thanks so much Katherine. And thank you for the lovely facebook share. You are so sweet. Dennis really impressed me with this one. I am a happy gal today.

  12. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says

    Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to yoooooouuu, Happy Birthday dear Kim Bee, Happy Birthday to yooooouuuu. What a lovely gift from Chef Dennis! Hope you have a great day.

  13. Curry and Comfort says

    Happy Birthday KIM!! I wish you all the best for your year ahead and may all your birthday wishes come true!! You're a lucky girl to have Chef Dennis make you a beautiful birthday cake!! Hope you had a blast yesterday!!

  14. The Mom Chef says

    Happy birthday, Kim! We must be twins because I was born in 19- *mumbles and covers her mouth* something or other as well. I'm a hugmongous Chef Dennis fan so you know I'm all over this dessert. Chef, you were light on the chocolate and for that I'm very, very grateful. No reason to cover those apples and glorious caramel with the stuff.

  15. Soni says

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Kim!Hope you enjoy your day and year to the fullest and what a perfect post for your birthday by Chef Dennis!Delish!

  16. Rochelle Ramos says

    Happy birthday, Kim! Chef Dennis did a fantastic job on making you a birthday cake that looks to be something I NEED to make in my own kitchen in the near future. Enjoy your special day and your special cake :)

  17. celiacasaurus.com says

    Happy Birthday Kim!!!! I can't think of anyone better to make your Birthday Cake, and you deserve it. Have a day(or week, whatever…who's counting) full of indulgence and joy!
    xo, Christie

  18. Sandra says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Best wishes from me to you!!!xoxo

    what a great guest post, and what a treat! You are rightt Chef Dennis is a food community rock star!
    Tasty looking torte..
    Wishing you both amazing day!!!

  19. The Cookinglady says

    I hope you had a great day. Your blog really rocks and it was so cool for chef to guest post for you. You guys rock

  20. Suzi says

    Happy Birthday Kim. How cool is that. Chef Dennis made you a cake, what a wonderful guest post. And what a gorgeous torte. Enjoy your xxsomething day.

  21. Emily Lynne {The Best of this Life} says

    Happy Birthday Kim!!! Hope you have a FABULOUS day!! Lovely guest post by Chef Dennis on your special day :)

  22. Lizzy says

    I think I'm going to ask Dennis to bake MY birthday cake!!! Who wouldn't love this torte???? Happy, happy belated birthday, my friend…wish I was closer to the Canadian border this weekend, and I would have invaded and said happy b-day in person!

  23. Dara says

    Happy Birthday Kim!!!! I wish you a wonderful and delicious year. You are a true kitchen rock star. But I can't believe you got Chef Dennis to bake you a cake! He is like the Beatles of food blogging. You never cease to amaze me.

  24. Jen at The Three Little Piglets says

    Happy Birthday Kim!!!! You don't look a day older than 21! Not that I've ever seen you, but I'm totally sure of it!! And Chef, does that mean you're available? Cause, my birthday is November 21 if you want to slap it on your calendar now so you'll have plenty of time to prepare…

  25. Kim Bee says

    I think I may have started something here. Poor Dennis is going to have oodles of cake requests by days end. Lol! Thanks Lizzy. I know you were busy with other things and wasn't sure how close to us you were. If you're ever down this way again let me know. I don't even mind driving up an hour or two to meet you next time. Would be so cool to meet in person and have lunch or dinner. And if you cross the border I'll cook for you. xx

  26. Kim Bee says

    Thanks Dara. I had a great birthday. Lots of fun. Ann even sang me happy birthday on the phone. Lol! He must have been under the spell of my eclairs. I am so excited he did this. xx

  27. Kim Bee says

    Thanks Kristen. I had a blast yesterday. Did not cook one single thing. Which was sort of hard for me but was good too. Lol!

  28. Nicole says

    Hope your birthday was fabulous. That torte looks absolutely, undeniably, mouth-wateringly incredible. Great guest post!!

  29. janet@fromcupcakestocaviar says

    Waitaminnit!!!! I missed your birthday!!? Awwww *kicks dirt and pouts* I'm sorry! I leave for a couple of days and miss everything. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, twin and got lots of great presents, tons of hugs and rainbows and unicorn farts… and a Coke. 😀

    Chef Dennis, this looks wonderful! Will you come to my house and make it for my birthday? I can pretend it's my birthday sayyyyyy… right this exact second 😀

  30. Kim Bee says

    Roflmao..unicorn farts was exactly what was on my wish list, how did you know? I had a great day. I went out for lunch with a friend, had a great fish dinner. Then hubs went into the city for Swiss Chalet which is the most slamming chicken on the planet. I also got a black forest cake. And candy. Lucky gal. No coke though. I vowed to avoid the hospital this year. *stifles a giggle*

  31. Becky says

    Happy (Belated) Birthday Kim,

    You got the best birthday present ever, having the Chef make you a gorgeous birthday cake! I'm jealous.

    Have a great year!

    Chef, You have now set a precedent by baking Kim a cake on her birthday! My birthday is
    March 20th:)

  32. Stephanie says

    Happy Birthday, sweet Kim!! I hopeit was every bit as fabulous as you are! This caramel apple torte looks incredible! Way to go Chef Dennis!

  33. Free Spirit Eater says

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY KIM!!!!!!!!!!!! How could I have missed it?!! What an honor to have Chef Dennis guest post on your birthday, what a perfect birthday gift! Chef Dennis you once again did a wonderful job, this time honoring Kim's birthday. She deserved the best and more. Have a great weekend you two, and Kim, I hope you're partying like a rockstar for your birthday weekend! Hugs and kisses from dirty Jersey. =]

  34. Darlene says

    This is the first time I've been to your blog; just kept following links from others. But I am absolutely goning to make this Caramel Apple Torte. In fact, on my way to the grocery store today and will add the ingredients I don't have to my list NOW! Looks scrumptiuos! Can't wait to have time to explore your blog further. I very much enjoyed it! Thanks!

  35. Cheryl and adam @ pictureperfectmeals.com says

    Better late than never so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! and how great is it that Chef Dennis made you a cake – or torte – to celebrate. Two of our favorite lunatics – we know Chef D personally and can attest to it – on one delicious page! Too good to be true!

  36. The Harried Cook says

    What a beautiful birthday post, Kim! And a post from Chef Dennis? If we could all be so lucky on our birthday! :) Love it… Great post as always, Chef Dennis! You never fail to impress :) Thanks for sharing! And Happy Birthday again, Kim! Hugs…

  37. Kiri W. says

    Oh no, happy belated birthday, girl!! *snugs*
    WHAT a cake. Oh MY. *drool* That looks amazing, I mean come one, apple, caramel, and chef dennis? *fans herself*
    I hope you had the most amazing day!

  38. Tina (PinayInTexas) says

    Happy belated birthday, Kim! Better late than never, right??? I'm sure you had a fabulous day! With a cake as gorgeous as that, who wouldn't??! Wonderful guest post, Chef Dennis!

  39. Kim Bee says

    Hi Darlene. I am so happy to have you here. If you ever have any requests or suggestions feel free to leave them here or email me.

  40. Kim Bee says

    Thanks you two! I am happy I am not the only Lunatic. Nice to have company. How cool that you guys know each other. I am so isolated here in the culinary black hole.

  41. Kim Bee says

    Thanks Tina. It's okay, I partied for days. Or what I consider partying which is eating copious amounts of food.

  42. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says

    I am so far behind!! I missed this :( Happy very late birthday! This cake looks amazing! Too bad you didn't actually get it eat it for your birthday. You should have had him deliver it too :)

  43. Lacy @ NYCityEats says

    Well clearly, I'm a bit late. But first off, Happy Birthday!! I hope it was a fantastic day full of all of your favorite cravings! I love that you call your blog the asylum lol, cracks me up every time. And one more thing, HOLY COW this looks AMAZING!! Drooling, seriously. I would devour that cake and be extremely happy about it, to the very last bite!


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