Spiced Apple and Sour Cream Cake from the Sweet Life by Kate Zuckerman
I’ve heard it said that most people don’t make 90% of the recipes in the cookbooks they buy. That is probably true, and in my case, I often use them for inspiration and adapt to my own circumstances and ingredients. This book is inspiring, and I find I am making quite a few recipes from it. This weekend I decided to try one of the ones on my “to do list” – a spiced apple cake. Kate tends to explain her recipes in great detail as many pastry chefs do, which can make her recipes look daunting, but I found this cake relatively easy to do. Her hints and tips are useful. This cake makes use of sour cream, which makes a wonderfully moist cake with a great crumb.
4 tart apples – I used Granny Smiths – you need about 500g
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
For the cake:
125g butter at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 egg yolks – use the whites to make a pavlova
13/4 cups of flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon of salt – often important in sweet dishes too as it brings out flavors
½ teaspoon of allspice
½ teaspoon of cloves
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
½ a cup plus one tablespoon of sour cream
¼ of a cup of demerara sugar
An 8 inch or 20cm spring form cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180* c and grease your 20cm tin.
For the apples
Peel and core your apples and cut them into 1.5 cm chunks
Melt the butter in a pan and when bubbling add the apples. Cook for 1 min and add the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook for 5 min till they are soft but not mushy. Cool and drain off any liquid.
For the cake
Cream the butter and sugar till very fluffy, about 8 min in a stand mixer, scraping down occasionally. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients, except the demerara sugar. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mix and mix well. Add the ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Mix well, and then add the last of the dry ingredients. With a spatula, fold in the apples (discard any juice that came out of them). Pour into prepared tin, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar – I miss read this step and only sprinkled over two tablespoons, so when it cooled I dusted it with icing sugar. Bake for 60 -70 minutes.
The cake sank quite a bit when I took it out the oven, and as there was no picture I was not sure what to expect. However, the cake was still light and deliciously moist, with a great mix of spices and soft apples. With four of us for tea, we devoured ¾ of a cake that should feed 10 easily!