Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Best Apple Cake Ever

This cake tops my list of favourites for so many reasons... It is easy, so easy in fact, I am going to start using the expression "easy as apple cake". It is a crowd pleaser: everyone loves this cake, so make two if your are bringing it to a potluck (it's such an easy cake, it'll be a breeze to make). And it is delish: my boyfriend is a stupendous pastry chef, and he's worked in some of the best restaurants in Europe, but even he agrees that this apple cake beats his three Michelin star apple cake.

Right now I'm smiling like I just won a blue ribbon at a bake-off, and I'm not even boasting about my own recipe, it's my Mum's friend's recipe. It's so easy, one wonders why cake mixes were ever invented! If you follow the recipe to the letter, the cake will come out scrumptiously moist with a crisp top. Or if you, like me, happen to notice that your basket of apples looks dangerously close to turning into cider, and decide to double or triple the amount of apples in the recipe, your cake will turn out beautifully moist minus the crunchy top. Either way it is a scrumptious way to eat up a peck of apples.

Spring is officially upon us, and soon there will be a bounty of vernal delights at your fingertips, however, there are still some nice, crisp apples from storage to be had. So before we bid farewell to the remains of last year's crops and turn our noses up at the mushy out-of-season offerings, gather a final bagful of apples, and bake this cake. Any apple will do, but a baking apple (russet, gala, jonamac, or cortland) will hold up best.

Gâteau aux Pommes
Fills one 20cm/ 8" round pie dish

2 large eggs
¼ cup/ 60g vegetable oil
1 cup/ 220g sugar
1cup/ 145g all-purpose flour
2 tsp/ 6g baking powder
1 tsp/ 3g ground cinnamon
3 large apples
½ cup/ 60g chopped nuts, optional

If you are using a metal dish, you will need to oil or butter the dish and flour it. If you are using a pyrex or stoneware dish, no preparation is necessary.
Pre-heat oven to 350'F/ 175'C.
In a mixing bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients until completely mixed.
Peel, quarter and core apples. Chop into bite-sized slices. Add to the batter with the nuts, if using.
Mix until apples are evenly distributed in the batter.
Pour batter in baking dish, pop in the oven.
Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.
Let cake cool down a bit before serving (if you can resist its yummy aroma!)
Serve as is, or with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

When I was a kid, my Mum would make a strussel-like topping with chopped, toasted nuts and brown sugar that would be spread on the piping-hot cake as soon as it came out of the oven. My teeth ache at the thought of that topping! It was so unnecessary though, the cake is sweet enough without. And so much tastier.

Use this recipe as a springboard for your imagination: you can play around with the ingredients, as long as you keep the proportions the same. Use chopped or slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, leave them out altogether or substitute with pumpkin seeds (pepitas) if you are allergic to nuts. You can switch the vegetable oil with something more flavourful, like a fruity olive oil or nutty toasted sesame oil. Apples out of season? Use another seasonal fruit: berries, peaches, apricots, pears... Are your bananas turning black on the kitchen counter? Leave the oil out, and mash three bananas into the batter; add some grated zucchinis. The possibilities are endless!

Bon app'!

1 comment:

  1. Ho my god Dahlia this cake looks so good. Yummy taste sur is it.
    > Katy

    ReplyDelete

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