Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray. Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here.
Cookbook Countdown #4 : Recipe No. 5 - Dutch Apple Cake
from my selected cookbook for this month, Bake by Rachel Allen
According to Rachel Allen, this cake has been made in Ballymaloe for years. They have guests requesting for it specifically every time they visit. After reading about it, I just had to bake this cake.
A slice of freshly baked Dutch Apple Cake with a cup of warm tea.
The batter is made by first whisking the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the mixture is thick and mousse-like, which takes about 5 minutes. Butter which is melted with the milk is then whisked into the egg mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the batter and fold carefully so that there are no lumps of flour. Pour into the prepared baking pan, smooth the surface and arrange thin slices of apples on top, finishing with a sprinkling of sugar over the apples.
According to the book, the apple slices will sink to the bottom which is meant to happen, leaving a light sponge on top with a lovely sugary crust.
I find that only some of the apples sink to the bottom, and mostly remains on top! But I am not overly concerned as when I sliced into the cake, it really is so very soft, spongy and light!
Can you see the apple slices at the bottom of the slice? That few slices of apple managed to find their way there after all! This is a lovely, moist, soft and spongy cake. I can see why this cake is specifically requested at Ballymaloe. I did reduce the sugar slightly and still find it a little sweet, so I would reduce more sugar the next time.
(adapted from "Bake", Rachel Allen)
Makes 12-16 squares
175gm (6oz) caster sugar, plus 15gm (1/2 oz) extra sugar, for sprinkling (I use 130 gm)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
90gm (3oz) butter
75ml (2-1/2 fl oz) milk
125gm (4-1/2oz) plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
2 small (or 1 large) cooking apples
75ml (2-1/2 fl oz) double cream, to serve
20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) square cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), Gas mark 6. Line the sides and base of the cake tin with parchment paper.
- Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg, 175gm (6oz) 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).
- 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.
- Peel and core the apples and cut into thin slices. Then arrange them over the batter. They will sink to the bottom (this is meant to happen!). Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the tin, cut into squares and serve warm. It is delicious with cream!
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