We had to schedule the October birthday lunch early this month because my boss, the woman with the October birthday, is leaving us for a better opportunity at another university. I am sad to see her go, she and I have become friends, but I am also thrilled for her and this new challenge. I know she will do a fantastic job and we will keep in touch now that she is gone. Because I combined her birthday lunch with a farewell party and invited the entire division, I didn’t make lunch this time. I ordered a tray of sandwiches from one of my favorite sandwich shops in Philly – Mi Pals Deli in South Philadelphia. Their chicken cutlet and fried eggplant sandwiches are my favorite, but I have never had a bad sandwich from them.
I knew I wouldn’t get away with not making her a dessert and she loves apple cakes. I had to work late the night before so I decided on an apple sauce cake with a warm apple cider sauce. They are so easy to make and since they don’t have butter or eggs, you don’t have to wait for anything to come to room temperature. You add the ingredients, mix, and pour into the pan.
I had made a batch of applesauce a few weeks back and had it in the freezer. I took it out and put it in the fridge to defrost overnight. The cake is simple, flour, sugar, oil, applesauce, spices, baking powder. It normally calls for nutmeg and allspice, but I prefer cinnamon and cardamom so I swapped out the spices. Once it bakes and cools, it is a simple matter of combining butter, brown sugar, apple cider and heavy cream in a sauce pan, bringing it to a boil. You boil it for three minutes and then it is ready to serve, lightly poured over each slice of cake.
It is such a fall dessert, you can even serve the cake and the sauce warm, making it one of those easy desserts when you have unexpected company for dinner (or is it only my husband that invites people at the last-minute and forgets to tell me about it?)
Anyway, everyone loved it, we had a fantastic lunch and followed it up with a lovely slice of cake. I know she will miss our monthly birthday lunches, and we will certainly miss her, we wish her all the best!