Monday, March 21, 2011

Christian's Apple Blossom Cake

There is nothing quite as intoxicating than the buttery aroma of a homemade cake hot from the oven. This moist, deep and delicious Apple Cake, made with fresh apples and cooked in a sweet buttery batter, is the perfect dessert anytime of the year. It also looks spectacular with the caramelized clusters of sliced apples bursting out of the top like little golden lotus blossoms. 

This weekend, my friend Chris made an outstanding Apple Blossom Cake, with the help of her personal sous-chef, her husband Mike! While Chris whisked the batter, Mike was put in charge of prepping the apples using a handy old fashioned apple slicer, guaranteed to produce perfect slices every time!

With apples peeled and sliced, the batter was then poured into a buttered springform pan, and the apple slices placed firmly into the batter in round groupings of eight — essentially reassembling the apples as they once were. A sprinkling of cinnamon over the apples, and the whole thing was baked in the oven for about an hour.

An additional layer of sweet eggy batter was poured over the cake once it came out of the oven, and it was baked again for another half an hour, creating a sweet fluffy crown to the top of the final Apple Blossom Cake. Still warm from the oven, Chris served her delicious cake as a special treat for her Piscean sous-chef, as we all gathered to celebrate his birthday in front of a roaring fire and under the watchful gaze of Saturday's super-moon! 

Apple Blossom Cake
Serves 8-10

Cake batter:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
8-10 large hard apples

Cake topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make the cake batter: cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, and then the flour mixed with baking powder. Peel and core the apples, and cut into eighths. Spread the batter into a buttered springform pan, then stand the slices up in the batter in groups of 8, so that they resemble whole apples. Press each group firmly into the batter so that it 'squidges' nicely around the apples, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour.

To make the cake topping: cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and blend well. Set aside.

Once the cake has baked for an hour, remove it from the even and pour the topping over the cake. Turn the oven down to 325°F and bake for another 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown and the apples are blossoming out of sweet buttery cake!

To serve, run a flat knife along the inside edge of the springform pan and gently release the sides, lifting it off carefully. Serve warm or at room temperature, and if you're feeling like you need some TLC, a dollop of creme fraiche might do the trick!

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