Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Himself has been having a fairly blah couple of days in work, so last night I decided to get my domestic goddess hat on and make a lovely steak dinner and baked-from-scratch-with-my-own-fair-hands dessert.
The fact that I had to check which cut of steak would be nicest and seek confirmation of the proper name of the dessert were only minor details, hardly the sort of little things that would detract from one's claims of domestic goddessticity. Ehem. Cheers to the lovely Babaduck for setting me straight on both counts!
So, we were in Lahinch over the weekend by virtue of a spur of the moment "let's go to the Cliffs of Moher today!" decision on Sunday morning. (Serious kudos to whoever's behind the Discover Ireland ads that are playing in cinemas at the minute, by the way.) We had this gorgeous apple tart thing after dinner in Danny Mac's and I was determined to recreate it last night.
It was like a deep-fill apple pie with a sort of sponge-like crust and no messing about with cloves. Babaduck reckoned this was more correctly called a Dutch Apple Cake, so off I went to find a recipe to play around with, and here's what I did in the end.
Dutch Apple Cake
» 2 eggs
» 20g caster sugar, 80g granulated sugar pulsed in a blender in an attempt to caster-ise it, and 75g rich dark brown sugar blitzed in a blender to remove the lumps and achieve the texture of caster sugar
(or you could just use 175g caster sugar, if you're fancy and not short of sugar in your household)
» 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
» 85g butter
» 75ml milk
» 125g self-raising flour
» 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/175ºC fan/Gas Mark 6. Line the base and sides of a wide baking tin (I used a 9" round cake pan with removable base, which was poifect) with tin foil greased with a little butter. Or you could use parchment paper if you're fancy.
2. Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and the whisk leaves a figure of eight pattern. This, apparently, should take about 5 minutes, but it seriously feels like an eternity. Use an electric whisk or it could actually take an eternity.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk, then pour onto the eggs, whisking all the time. Sift in the flour and fold carefully into the batter so that there are no lumps of flour.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Arrange the apple slices in layers over the batter. They'll sink a little, but I gently pushed them further into the batter and smoothed some over them as I didn't want apple slices peeking through the surface of my cake.
5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180ºC/155ºC fan/Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 20–25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before serving with your choice of cream or ice-cream (or custard if you're
Adapted from 'Bake' by Rachel Allen
Now Himself is a bit of an apple tart snob, but pronounced this to be "Ohm-Go-. Del-shus" through a mouthful of cake, and this morning suggested that it might even be nicer than my gooey chocolate puddings. Which I was delighted with at first, and then a bit offended about on behalf of my choccie puds.
It was particularly yum, in fairness, and much easier than mucking about with pastry for a real tart. I know all the tips and tricks, but I still absolutely FAIL at pastry. Even the Jus-Rol prepacked stuff is nearly beyond my capabilities.
Here's my finished, just out of the oven Dutch Apple Cake, looking tasty in its tinfoil skirt!