Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rye Apple Cake

During my very busy spell earlier this month, I was alternately sustained and tormented by thoughts of one recipe on my List: Rye Apple Cake. On one of my forays through the foodiesphere I found Dan Lepard, a British chef who writes a weekly bread and baking column for The Guardian. He runs a Bakers Forum where he takes time to answer questions about the various recipes that he's featured in his columns, and lots of other bread and baking questions. (One charming feature about the forums: in order to post, you must be a registered user, and to do that you must fill out an application. You then receive an email with an essay question about yourself and the baking that you do. I wrote about my baking and my blog, and Dan himself checked it all out and replied via email with a personal welcome and a few kind words about my blog.)

Several of Dan's recipes are quite appealing, but the Rye Apple Cake entered my head and would not leave. I was too busy to bake anything but the TWD recipes for a couple of weeks, but during that time I picked up rye flour and managed to find muscovado sugar (Yay, Fresh Market!) - I already had Lyle's Golden Syrup and demerara sugar. I was totally willing to sacrifice one of the precious Macoun apples from my stash.

cook's notes:

- I grind a bunch of almonds at once and keep a container of ground almond in the freezer. It saves a step when cooking time rolls around (and also saves having to wash the food processor!)

- You can substitute 100 g. brown sugar + 4 T. molasses for the muscovado sugar.

- Use a strong, tart apple, or the flavor will be lost. Granny Smith would be a good, readily available choice. Mackintosh would also work. I used Macoun, which was nice.

- My egg turned out to have a double yolk, which I've never seen before (it's not unheard of, just a bit unusual). These were eggs from my farm co-op order. Since it wasn't a noticeably large egg to begin with (double-yolk eggs often are larger and pointier) I decided to use both yolks.

- The batter tasted like a not-too-sweet caramel apple.

- The recipe called for a 2 pound loaf pan. It didn't rise very much, and so turned out a bit flat. I might experiment with different pans next time.

the verdict:

This cake is delicious! It has a soft texture and lush moistness that seems improbable in a cake made with rye flour. I veer between thinking it's perfect as is (my husband's position) and thinking it could use just a pinch of apple-pie-type spices.

Next time, I might bake it in a smaller pan, maybe a 1 pound pan + a mini, to see how it would be with a bit more height. I could also try cutting squares rather than slices. Well, any way you cut it, it's a great cake.

I love that this recipe has rye flour and ground almonds for the dry ingredients. And I'll be trying more of Dan's recipes!

Here are some other apple cakes on my radar:
Unfussy Apple Cake - 101 Cookbooks blog
My Mom's Apple Cake - the Food Librarian blog
mom's apple cake - Smitten Kitchen blog

In case you stopped by looking for this week's TWD post, we've been given an extension! The recipe this week is the Thanksgiving Twofer Pie, and we are allowed to post anytime before Sunday, November 30. The P&Q is filled with tales of triumph and woe... I'm planning to bake this with my daughter A.L.E. for Thanksgiving, so check this space over the weekend to see how it turns out!
[edit: Vibi of La Casserole Carrée selected this week's recipe, and you can see her stunning Twofer Tart pictured on her post, and find the recipe - in French and English, no less - there too.] You can also find the recipe and a pretty nice picture of the pie here.

{Note: I'm celebrating my first 100 blog posts with a cookbook giveaway - to enter, go here and leave a comment before December 3}


Steph said...

Nancy, we both made apple cake! Your version is probably a lot heathier than mine though. Thanks for the award, I probably won't have time to post it until later... I have 3 papers to write! Actually, I probably shouldn't be reading blogs.. haha.

Di said...

Ooh, that looks good. I even have rye flour, and I think I might have a Macoun or two left in my fridge. I went and bought some after you raved about them--they are indeed very good. I'm going to go check out that Bakers Forum, too.

Anonymous said...

Your apple cake looks delicious. I've never made one. Maybe I'll try one in the new year--too much to do right now! :P

Peggy said...

I learn so much from you! That apple cake looks delicious. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, safe travel, good food, and many blessings to you.

Maria said...

I love the almonds on top! The cake looks amazing!!

natalia said...

Ciao Nancy ! Nice cake ! don't you think it didn't rise cause of the rye having less gluten ? I've just made rye knackebrot Icould just use up my leftover rye....Happy happy thanksgiving!

Cathy said...

Your apple cake looks great! Funny, The Guardian is always on our internet history because David reads it for soccer news. Now I know that I can jump on for great recipes as well! I bet the rye flour made this extra delicious.

Enjoy baking the pie with your daughter -- I hope you all have better luck than I did!

Anonymous said...

OMW...that looks fabulous!

Carol Peterman/TableFare said...

What wonderful looking bread. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and my only advice on the Twofer pie is remember to turn the oven down!