Last week had been a fun one! My sister and her friend are visiting from Germany and we headed to Chicago to escape my small town and have some urban pleasure in the big city. The windy city lived up to its name and we got literally blown away all day long. The main things I had done these days was sitting around, watching people while having coffee, walking up and down the beaches north of Chicago, and visiting the cultivate festival in Lincoln Park last Saturday. This was not only a fun event with nice food and concerts, it had also been a great way to inform about where food naturally comes from and that industrialized farmers are the losers, bad guys, not so good for you and the environment.
Sunday had been all about apples and friends. Our dear friends from Chicago invited us to join them for an apple picking day on an apple orchard in Wisconsin. I didn’t count but our group was about 30 people of all ages. Everyone brought some nice food and it reminded me of tailgating without the football and the grilling. Games were played, some beer were drunken, apples had been picked and we had some interesting and fun talks. We drove home with a one year ratio of apples for a family of ten, a beautiful pumpkin and newly made friendships.
apple cake with toffee topping
adapted from Tessa Kiros: falling cloudberries
This recipe calls for 3 apples, I came out with 360 g peeled and cored apple chunks, for my licking a wee bit more would have been even better, I am going for 4 apples next time. And I used whole wheat pastry flour and really loved the nuttily flavor which went well with the apples and the sweetness of the topping.
3-4 apples (like golden delicious but any other will do)
juice of 1/2 lemon
100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
200 g / 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 g / 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
100 g / 1/2 cup sugar
120 ml / 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat your oven to 190 C / 375 F and grease and flour your 24 cm / 9.5 inch springform pan.
Peel and core the apples, cut them into bite size chunks. Add the lemon juice and stir. Arrange the apples evenly on the bottom of your baking pan, no need to make it beautiful, you won’t see much of them under the topping later.
In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and softened (takes 2-3 minutes) then add the eggs one by one. Add the flour, the baking powder and the milk and mix shortly until just combined. Pour the batter over the apples into the springform pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake is done if a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove your cake from the oven and start to make the topping: put the butter and the sugar in a medium pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat. Sugar gets very hot while melting, you better resist to lick your spoon! Don’t add all the cream at once! Pour in the cream very slowly, start drop by drop, then in a steady stream, stir constantly. Continue to simmer for another minute over low heat.
Turn the cake upside down: run a knife blade along the rim of the spingform pan to release the edge of the cake, put a plate on the top of the cake and turn over, use a long knife to separate the bottom of the springform pan from the cake before removing it. This is optional and not part of the original recipe, I just prefer to have the apples on top rather than at the bottom.
If you have turned your cake or not, loose the side of the cake and pour the toffee sauce over the top of the cake. Let the cake cool before you remove the side of the pan. Serve with ice cream, warm or at room temperature.