Before pulling out my baking bowls I decided to prepare my springform pan, only to discover that the clasp had somehow broken. A setback before I even started; this threw me into a tizzy, but having committed to bringing cake for the potluck I decided to use an 8x8 square pan. The square pan worked out just fine, though I would have preferred a round cake for better presentation.
I don’t like rum and didn’t want to buy a bottle, no matter how small, just for this recipe…so for the rum I substituted Carolans Irish Cream, a liqueur much like Bailey’s. The result was a subtle but noticeable taste that paired nicely with the apples. The apples: I used two Golden Delicious and two Gala apples.
I love whipped cream. Okay. That is an understatement. I have been having a lifelong, intense, richly satisfying love affair with whipped cream. So if my cakes aren’t served bare, you’ll always find them topped with whipped cream in some way. For this apple cake I whipped the cream with brown sugar and a bit of the Carolans Irish Cream. The cake is lucky that any of the whipped cream was there at all to top it…I could easily have sat down with that bowl of cream and a spoon…you get the idea.
I will make this cake again. It’s the type of dessert I like best: Simple, not too sweet, and a complement to any meal that it follows. Hope you enjoy!
French Apple Cake3/4 cup flour
from David Lebovitz
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples (a mix of varieties)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Carolans Irish Cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
500 ml whipping cream (2 cups)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Carolans Irish Cream
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.
Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. (I used my 8x8 square pan).
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch pieces.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then Carolans and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter
Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.
Fold in the apple cubes until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.
Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.
Whip cream with brown sugar and Carolans.
Serving: Serve wedges of the cake topped with whipped cream.