This weeks recipe is a special one for me, as it’s a cake that my mum used to make for my birthday quite a lot when I was younger. When I went to visit her last week I found the recipe stuck to the fridge, covered in old sugar and god knows what. So since a good ten years have passed since I last ate this I decided to give it a go and see if I do it justice (and I did!). It’s just as nice as I remembered it and I urge you to give it a go, but enough of the blah blah and let’s get onto the recipe!
750g Sour Apples
1.5 tbsp Light Soft Brown Sugar
1/2 Lemon, Juice
340g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
270g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs (medium)
200ml Vegetable Oil
200ml Sparkling Mineral Water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
350ml Whipping Cream
250ml Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla extract
7tsp Cream Stiffener (you can use Gelatine instead)
100g Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
Core and peel the apples, and cut them into small pieces. Then cover them in the juice of half a lemon. Put them into a saucepan, add sugar and water and cook them down, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone. Puree the apples using a stick blender or a bar blender. I like to keep a few bits but if you prefer it completely smooth then you’re best off using a bar blender rather than a stick blender.
Set aside to cool down.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree C.
For the sponge we’ll start by whipping eggs and sugar and the pinch of salt for about 4-5 minutes on a high setting with a hand/stand-mixer. The mixture should be fluffy and light in texture and colour. Turn the mixer down, then slowly add oil, sparkling mineral water (the bubbles add more air in the sponge) and vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking powder well and add it to the rest of the batter bit by bit.
I’ve baked the sponge on a 30x40cm perforated baking tray, on a non stick baking mat, in a baking frame with a 8.5cm height. Since it’s a tray bake you can use a smaller frame but make sure that the baking frame will be high enough, as your cake will be higher if you’re shrinking the frame.
Scrape the bowl down well to make sure that all of the the batter is well combined and then fill it into your baking frame and quickly put it in the preheated oven to make sure the wet batter doesn’t leak too much (a bit of leakage is normal in the baking frame). Bake for about 20 minutes. The sponge is ready when it’s nice and springy on top. Set aside to cool down as well.
Add the cold whipping cream to a large mixing bowl and start whipping it on a high speed. Slowly add about half of the cream stiffener (this will ensure that the cream stays stiff for a few days) and the vanilla extract. When the whipping cream has thickened a bit, add the sour cream and whip the mixture until you reach soft peaks, slowly adding the last half of the cream stiffener. Little Tip: If you can’t get hold of whipping cream just mix two parts double cream with one part single cream. I wouldn’t recommend using just double cream as it’s too heavy. Another little tip: if you can’t get hold of cream stiffener, melt a little bit of gelatine and add it to the cream mixture when it’s stiff.
When the apple sauce and the sponge have cooled down it’s time to assemble the cake. Leave the sponge in the baking frame, add the apple sauce to the top and spread it out smoothly with an offset spatula. Then blob the cream mixture on top before, again, smoothing it out with an offset spatula.
Finally combine the caster sugar and the cinnamon and sieve it evenly all over the top of the cake.
Chill the cake for at least 4 hours before removing it from the frame. I used a blunt knife to make sure I don’t damage my reusable baking mat. Then remove the frame, move it from the baking tray to a board or cake plate and carefully remove the baking mat by folding it away under the cake.
Give it a try, it’s well worth it and it feeds a crowd, that’s for sure (or a Leonie for two days haha).
Lots of Love xx Leo