Sunday, October 16, 2016

German Apple Cake

I think this recipe was the biggest challenge in baking I have been facing so far. Why? Because I had to develop the recipe from childhood memories. Let me tell you the whole story behind this cake. When my grandfather retired in 1993 he started baking. At first he would bake Christmas cookies, then he started baking various kinds of traditional cakes to finally bake pastry-shop style birthday cakes for the whole family. As I was only 8 years old when he started, one of the first cakes we baked together was the one from the German children's song 'backe backe Kuchen'. 

As my grandfather evolved rapidly in his baking techniques, one of his traditional recipes became the 'versunkener Apfelkuchen'. Every autumn he would spoil my family with this apple cake. When he passed away in 2003, my grandmother gave me many of his recipes, but unfortunately he had not written down the apple cake recipe. At the beginning I was very sad, because no one managed to bake an apple cake  like his. I decided to accept that we'd never have this cake again, because all the copies I tasted were very disappointing.

No later than this summer I decided to give it a try and develop my own German apple cake recipe, which is worthy to be compared to the original. With my grandma we tried to remember all the ingredients there were and put together a list. Then I started researching on the Internet and found some similar cakes. But there was always missing at least one of our ingredients. But from my research I managed at least to create a valuable foundation to create my own recipe.

Family, friends and colleagues approved the recipes so far, so I think I can say that I did my part in reconstructing the recipe. Working very close to a famous Luxembourg apple orchard, I will definitely be baking more than one 'versunkener Apfelkuchen' this season. 

For one cake you need:

3 apples
380g flour
250g sugar
250g butter
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g ground almonds
150 ml heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 180°

In a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and mix again. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the vanilla extract as well as the ground almonds and mix again. Now you can add the dry ingredients to the butter-egg mix. Add the heavy cream until you get an even and silky dough. 

Peel the apples, release the core and cut them into quarters. Then cut carefully lengthwise into the apples. Pour the dough into a buttered cake tin and place the apple quarters onto the dough. 

Bake for 60 minutes, then check with a skewer if the dough is completely baked. If it comes out clean your cake is ready.


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