4 March 2012

'Sunken' apple cake - 'Versunkener Apfelkuchen'

There is a ridiculous number of recipes for apple cakes in Germany. It’s a very popular type of cake and it is kind of odd, admittedly, that I have not yet posted a single one on my blog. As apples are one of the few local fruits available in the UK at the moment, I intend to make up for this. I am starting off with one of the quickest recipes for an apple cake – the famous sunken apple cake. This consists of a simple sponge base with apples, scored in a nice pattern and cut in half, making it moist and flavoursome. The cake does not take long to make and it usually doesn’t hang around the kitchen for long, because it goes down very well. Variations of the recipe below are possible. In particular, the flavour can be changed by replacing some of the flour with ground nuts. Hazelnuts, I find, are particularly tasty in this cake. 

This makes one large, round cake (I used a tin with a 28 cm diameter), but it can also be baked in a square tin.

250 g butter, soft at room temperature
130 g sugar
3 eggs
Some vanilla seeds or extract (optional)
200g plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
50 ml milk (or some milk and some rum)
4-5 eating apples, depending on their size

Cream the butter and the sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one and continue whisking. Add the vanilla, if using. Mix the flour and the baking powder and blend into the butter mixture. Add the milk as required – the batter should not be liquid, but it should not be too dry either (it needs to be firm enough for the apples not to sink before you put the cake in the oven).

Grease a baking tin, add the batter and smooth the surface. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the core. Slice the surface of the apples with a sharp knife without cutting through the apple (the photo of the baked cake above shows best how this should be done). Place the apple halves on top of the batter and bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for 40-50 minutes. 

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