Let Them Eat: Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake)
This recipe jumped out at me from Jean Ferniot's French Regional Cooking, one of several French cookbooks my mother-in-law has given me. Tartouillat, a cherry and rum cake from the region of Burgundy, sounded right up my alley: ripe cherries and a generous pour of rum baked into a cake that is served warm. My mind drifted to a house in the French countryside, where I enjoyed the falling evening and chilly air while eating tartouillat...
But I landed back in my more prosaic kitchen with a thud when I bit into the actual cake. It was dense, drab, and chewy, like one of those putty-colored rubber erasers. Perhaps my palate isn't French enough. Perhaps the editors neglected to include butter in the recipe. Hesitant to re-test and waste more cherries—and rum—I made a few tweaks and made this cake, which, I think remains faithful to the original but won't try to choke you on its way down your hatch.
This is delicious served warm with a light dusting of powdered sugar, but can be served at room temperature. It's a grown-up, not-too-sweet, and just boozy enough cake.