september – that time of the year, when you begin to wonder whatever happened to the time gone past. a procrastinator’s nightmare, possibly. when you’re trying so hard to keep up to the umpteen promises you made to yourself. or are possibly making new. or maybe wondering if you could just start all over again, like you always do. serious contemplation apart, fall is the color of hope that all things must die to themselves before self renewal. deep! i know. but for most, fall is associated with climatic changes, harvest and melancholy. from where i come, there are no fall colors, no autumnal foliage; the leaves don’t turn a pale green to an ochre yellow to a burnt sienna and definitely no halloween. but oh yes, there is a fall autumn winter collection in stores. it’s still monsoons until september followed by light showers all through the winter months. down here you don’t really have to wait until fall for apples and pumpkins to make it to your dinner table. but i must admit, there is something about having anything in apple in the winter months. it’s the warmth it lends when paired with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or star anise. a quiet cozy spot with a book in my hands, fuzzy socks on, and a warm slice of apple cinnamon cake on a crisp fall day is all i need to be in all my glory. simple pleasures satisfy. over the years i’ve made many a version of an apple cake, with this being my last one which tells me it’s been a while. i’ve been eyeing this recipe from David Rocco (all things italian, dolce vita; you know what i’m saying) for too long now wondering how would yogurt go into making an apple cake. but the pictures on this food blog of the moistest, prettiest slice of apple cake i’d ever seen with that signature sugar crust had me abandoning all other plans and wanting to bake this so bad. and i’m so glad i did – this by far trumps all other versions of apple cake i’ve made before and has ruined all apple cake recipes for me, forever. it really is amazing what simple humble unassuming pantry ingredients and a trip to your farmer’s market can do in making something so exquisite. this recipe makes for a cake with the perfect blend of textures – moist and mushy from the apple and yogurt inside, crunchy from that classic flaky sugar crust outside (also the only one time i’ve fancied consuming sugar in its raw form). and the flaky crust makes for such a pretty sight with all of those ruffled cascaded layers! it is most comely when baked and taken off the oven, with the sugar crust still sizzling away in the hot pan and eventually pulling away from its sides revealing a pale white primrose hued crust. you just have to bake this one for the experience – it is all worth it.
adapted from kitchenhealssoul
- 1⅓ cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup (115 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅞ cup (200 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus a little extra for buttering the pan
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (125 ml) yogurt
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) granulated sugar (for the topping)
- preheat the oven to 350°F. butter an 8-inch cake round.
- in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cinnamon.
- using either a stand or hand mixer, beat the ½ cup of sugar and the melted butter until it has lightened.
- add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.
- reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour.
- stir in the sliced apples, and pour the batter in the prepared pan.
- sprinkle the ⅓ cup sugar evenly over the top of the cake.
- bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- allow to cool completely in the pan before serving.
i think this makes a pretty breakfast cake. that is if you’ll bake it at night and leave it to rest on your kitchen counter until cooled completely. though it would easily keep for about 3-4 days in an airtight container (mine was gone in about two), i suggest you polishing it soon after ‘coz it really is the prettiest then with all of those flaky sugar-crusted layers. also the longer it rests, its flaky layers tend to dissipate into the cake body making it a tad too sweet. or atleast that is what i thought happened. i also happened to use red gala apples (a little past their prime) instead of the tart granny smith ones which probably could’ve added to the overall sweetness. i plan on baking this with granny smith apples the next time around, i reckon the tartness should pair well with the yogurt. whatever you do, you cannot go wrong with this one. highly recommended!
i just realized this post comes around eat-an-apple-day of the year; serendipity!
and turns out, David Rocco does have more to him than just good looks, some equally great recipes!