For someone who’d rather go to the dentist than bake a cake, making the same cake two weeks in a row means:
– the cake is fool-proof;
– the cake is awesome.
Awesome indeed! It’s a bunch of diced apples surrounded by a few dollops of cake batter, that puffs and gently envelopes each piece of fruit, resulting in a dessert that’s a cross between cake and clafoutis. Very French, very elegant, just enough decadence to turn your afternoon tea into a four-star event.
The recipe comes from a cookbook that’s been on my wish list at amazon.com since it’s released: Dorie Greenspan‘s Around my French Table. It’s just a matter of time until I move the book to my shopping cart, the reviews are stellar!
MARIE HELENE’s APPLE CAKE
(from Dorie Greenspan)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (110g)
3/4 tsp baking powder (about 3.75 g)
pinch of salt
4 large apples (any kind you like, mix and match)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (145g)
3 Tbs rum (or apple schnapps, or Calvados)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled (115g)
Heat the oven to 350F. Butter a 8-inch springform type pan with butter and set aside.
Peel and core the apples, cut them roughly in 1 inch chunks. Reserve.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisker until frothy, add the sugar and whisk until smooth.
Add the rum, vanilla extract, and mix well. Add half of the flour mixture, mix until fully incorporated, pour half of the butter and whisk to combine. Add the rest of the flour, then the rest of the butter.
Pour the thick batter over the apples, and use a silicone or plastic spatula to mix them gently, trying to cover each piece with some of the batter. The mixture will seem too thick, and you will be tempted to use less apples. Do not. Trust Dorie. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan, use a fork to level the apples as much as possible, but don’t worry too much about it.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted at the center of the cake. Remove the pan to a rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before opening the sides.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The first time I baked this cake, I didn’t use all the apples because it seemed impossible to coat them all with the batter. I realized my mistake when I witnessed how much the batter puffed up during baking. On my second attempt, I used all the apples, and substituted apple schnapps for rum. We both liked the schnapps version better. A friend of mine used Calvados and also preferred it to rum. Either of those liquors reinforce the apple flavor. Next time I might add a little cinnamon to the batter, but this cake is pretty close to perfection as it is.
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