Ok. Let’s keep this content corona-free. I probably spend more time reading about the corona virus than working these days, so this post will just be about the apple cake. Let’s just stop thinking about corona for five minutes and instead find comfort in the baking of an apple cake. A fantastic apple cake that’s more apple than cake, so really, it’s ok to eat now that all gyms are closed and you’re doing nothing but baking and eating because you can’t go out and do anything and baking and eating are the only things that can distract you from reading more about the corona virus.
The funny thing is, my life hasn’t really changed that much thanks to the fact that most of my hobbies are indoors and I hate crowded places anyway. I’m very prepared for this quarantine life.
This cake was made pre-crisis. I had invited some friends over for brunch, one of whom is a very talented pastry chef. I worked with her briefly and she had this amazing apple dessert with apple panna cotta, caramelized apples, puff pastry, dulce de leche-like sauce, vanilla cream and probably other complicated elements that I have forgotten. This cake is like that dessert’s unsophisticated countryside cousin. She’s a bit disheveled, a bit chubby, a bit rough, but loveable and delicious nonetheless for a casual brunch occasion.
1 lemon, zest
80g butter, melted and cooled
80g ground almonds + 20g for sprinkling
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
8g baking powder
Pinch of salt
30g demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 22cm cake tin.
Peel and thinly slice the apples and leave in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice so they don’t oxidize
Separate the yolks from the whites
Whisk the yolks with sugar with electric beaters or a stand mixer until pale and frothy
Whisk in lemon zest, butter, and milk.
Mix together the 80g of ground almonds, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. And fold it into the yolk mixture in two additions.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold in the yolk mixture in three stages gently to ensure you keep the mixture nice and light.
Put half of the batter in the cake tin, nestle in most of the apples (it will seem like too much, but that’s ok), then top with the remaining batter and place the remaining slices of apple on top. Sprinkle on the 20g of almonds and demerara sugar.
Bake for about 45 min to an hour, until a toothpick/knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before taking out of the tin and slicing.