dutch apple cake

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i just happened to post after a long drawn hiatus and talked about how time had flown that it’d already come to be september and now i can’t help wondering it’s october already. time flies and though most things may become irrelevant with it, some things are timeless. like this recipe i baked a long ago in time but still has its place in my memory that i keep coming back to it – my first dutch apple cake ever, by rachel allen.


ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85 g butter
  • 75 ml milk
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

method

1. preheat the oven to 200C. line the sides and base of a 20 x 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper.

2. using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and the whisk leaves a figure of eight pattern (this will take about 5 minutes).

3. melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk, then pour onto the eggs, whisking all the time. sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and fold carefully into the batter so that there are no lumps of flour. pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.

4. arrange the apple slices over the batter. (they will sink to the bottom.) sprinkle over a tablespoon of sugar and bake in the oven for ten minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.

5. remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin. cut into squares and serve.


this recipe makes a delightfully light and moist sponge cake with the goodness of apple and cinnamon. my cake did not have a browned crust like the one on this site but was delicious nevertheless. there are a ton of apple recipes i want to bake this season and hoping i will get to it before it’s next fall already!

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apple yogurt cake

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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

ingredients

  • 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)

instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 350°F. butter an 8-inch cake round.
  2. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cinnamon.
  3. using either a stand or hand mixer, beat the ½ cup of sugar and the melted butter until it has lightened.
  4. add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  5. reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour.
  6. stir in the sliced apples, and pour the batter in the prepared pan.
  7. sprinkle the ⅓ cup sugar evenly over the top of the cake.
  8. bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. 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!

P.S.

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!

easter apple cake

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today is Easter Sunday! a day with a promise. that we may also share in the hope and peace of our risen Christ. a day where families come together to eat, pray and love. as a child, my dad would buy me a large Easter chocolate egg, come every Easter. and i would look forward to cracking it open and nibbling on the petite pieces of sugary toffee, candy and marzipan it would contain amidst little strands of cellophane, confetti and yes, glitter! i would save the large chocolate egg shell for until the end, and slowly but surely devour it with every enticing bite. and this right there, was my little share of happiness! i don’t look at Easter eggs the same way anymore, they had their place in my childhood and that’s about it! in my journey to adulthood, i’d begun to resent overly cloying, sugar-inducing-coma treats (be it chocolate or otherwise) and take to more milder notes, read bittersweet chocolate and likewise. and that is how i like my baked goods too, flavourful but not in an overpowering way.

this Easter, i was planning on baking something that did not have the traditional carrot or coconut in it. i was also looking to put to good use a bottle of blackcurrant liqueur or creme de cassis that was handpicked with love all the way from Dijon, France by a loved one! i had almost decided on going with a flourless chocolate cassis cake, after having done one final roll call on the ingredients. and then off i went grocery shopping for the week ahead. and whilst at it, a crate of red glossy gala apples caught my fancy, and before i knew it, it had me planning on an apple cake, having long forgotten the bars of dark chocolate and sticks of butter back on my kitchen countertop that were waiting to be bain-marie-d!

i’ve talked about my love for bananas and banana bread. anything apple in fruit comes next. be it apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp, apple strudel, or simply a good old apple cake. i once baked a modest breakfast apple kuchen (German for cake), for a German colleague who came calling on his first ever trip to India. and when he came back for a second helping, i knew i had had, his approval! (i can’t help but also make a mention of a large jar of Nutella that he spotted on my kitchen counter and my Nutella bread pudding that he polished off with equal allegiance – and that was quite “das Frühstück!”).

the key ingredient to a good apple cake is cinnamon. i wonder how one got around to marrying the two flavours. all glory be to him! of all spices, cinnamon is my favourite. next comes star anise, and nutmeg, a close third. cinnamon spells warmth and almost always figures in winter treats. but a good apple cake is welcome anytime in the year!

as always and in keeping with my minimalistic principle, simple staple pantry ingredients go into making this apple cake. butter, sugar, flour, eggs and cinnamon. this time around, i substituted light brown muscovado sugar for castor for a typical Danish apple cake or Æblekage preparation. and it payed. with a moist, tender crumb from the butter, brown sugar and apple, and the caramelized walnuts adding to crunch. and that is besides the aromatic cinnamon notes wafting through your home, filling up your senses – an added incentive, and one that comes with the joys of home baking!

adapted from SBS Food – Danish Apple Cake and Global Table Adventure – Danish Apple Cake


ingredients

185g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown muscovado sugar
1/3 cup light brown muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
185g all purpose flour
2 large gala apples, peeled and cored and thinly sliced into wedges
1/3 cup walnuts

instructions

preheat the oven to 180°C. brush the base and sides of a 22 cm (base measurement) springform tin with butter and line the base with parchment paper.

use a stand or hand mixer to beat the butter, 3/4th cup sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. sift together the flour and baking powder. add to the butter mixture and fold in until just combined. do not overmix.

combine the extra 75 g (⅓ cup) light brown muscovado sugar, cinnamon and walnuts and set aside. spread half the cake batter over the base of the prepared tin. arrange half the apples over the batter and then sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar. repeat with the remaining cake batter, apples and cinnamon sugar.

bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and having it cool completely.


i baked this after a short nap late evening from after the grocery shopping and feared i would not finish in time for the Easter vigil mass. the cake was just about done and i managed to get it off the tin onto the cooling rack in between dressing for mass. and after i was home (from mass) almost midnight, the cake was sitting at room temperature waiting to be transferred into an airtight container to be sliced the morning after on Easter for breakfast. i was glad i went with baking this instead of the chocolate cassis cake, i couldn’t have afforded to be high so early in the day after all!

Happy Easter, everyone!