Greeting’s dear friends. Pleasant weather round this time of the year in this part of the world with brightly coloured seasonal flowers blooming all over, around the pavements and gardens, bring out the best of the moods and lift the soul. We already are in the second month of the year, the month of celebrating Valentine’s day, showering love and affection, of caring and it also happens to be the birthday month of my dearest hubby. To celebrate his birthday I baked a warm, comforting, delicious apple cake with cinnamon and nutmeg flavouring, my first time try of using apples in a cake. I had seen and purchased a cute apple-shaped cake tin in one of my shopping spree that was waiting for the day to dawn when I could use it. Today’s post is my 50th blog post and therefore it had to be something to do with baking and I decided to post this recipe of an Upside-down Apple and Almond cake. The aroma that engulfs the house when a cake is baked is always heavenly, this time round the fruit and cinnamon flavour was divine. From the oven it went to the cake stand and was cut as a midnight birthday celebration.
I have used the Royal Gala apple variety from USA. The markets here have so many varieties from different countries, but I prefer to use these for the sweet dishes that I make. The apple slices were tossed in caramelized brown sugar to give it the sweet and chocolaty taste and almond slices were used to provide the nutty taste, I prefer to use sliced or crushed nuts in most of my cakes. To give more of a chocolate taste to the apples, the bottom layer of the cake was of batter containing chocolate and top was kept plain that added the cinnamon taste to each bite.
General Tips: Before starting to bake anything it is very essential to weigh the ingredients correctly, use room temperature ingredients, and assemble the ingredients so that one is not rushing around to get them. When everything is kept handy you would notice that baking cakes at home is not a big effort at all . Sieve the baking powder in the flour mix and keep ready for use. Grease the cake tin with butter and dust flour on it.
Upside-Down Apple and Almond Cake:
Almonds: 50 gm (sliced or crushed)
Unsalted butter: 200 gm
Dark Brown Sugar: 3 Tbsp
Milk: 180 ml
Refined Flour: 200 gm
Baking Powder: 1 Tsp
Baking Soda: 1 Pinch
Cocoa Powder: 2 Tbsp
Cinnamon & Nutmeg: 1Tsp (Use powder or grate it directly)
Preheat oven to 180 deg C, fan-assisted. Grease the cake tin that is to be used for baking with butter. I used an apple-shaped tin, but a square or round tin would also be fine.
Peel, core, and slice the apples with the help of an apple cutter, and make thin slices. Heat a pan on the stove, add 1 Tsp butter and the brown sugar, stirring it and taking care not to burn the sugar. As the sugar caramelises add the apple slices and toss so that all the slices get coated with the sugar. Remove from pan and keep aside. Do not discard the leftover sugar syrup, if any.
In a bowl take the butter and beat it soft. Use a hand blender or spatula. Then add the powdered sugar or castor sugar and mix so that the mixture becomes soft, light and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the mix, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Grate the cinnamon stick and nutmeg directly over the mixture or make powder and add 1 Tsp of the powder to the mixture. If one does not want to use these flavours then add Vanilla essence 1 Tsp.
In a small bowl take the leftover caramelised sugar syrup and mix 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder in it, add milk if required. Add this cocoa mixture to one portion of the batter.
Line the bottom of the cake tin with the caramelised apple slices. Sprinkle dark brown sugar and almond slices over the apples. Then pour over the chocolate batter over it. Next pour over the other cake batter portion.
The sugar content added to the cake is as per my taste. If you like a more sweeter cake, then increase the sugar content to 250gm instead of 200 gm.
Serving Options: The cake can be served as a warm dessert with more chocolate sauce poured over each slice if you prefer a chocolaty taste. It can be cooled then cut into slices and served with cups of hot tea or coffee. For a cake lover it would hardly matter how it is served, I always love to have cake at home so that every time I walk past the cake I can stop and grab a slice or a bite of it.
Note for new or first time bakers: In case their is no brown sugar at home then the normal white sugar can also used for caramelizing the apples. It is always a joy to cook or bake in the kitchen, experience it for yourself by trying out different recipes.