Hey you guys! Hope you're all well and dandy, this lovely fall season. Life for us is kwaazay per usual, and I, believe it or not am swearing by the one-day-at-a-time mantra. Nothing in our life could have prepared us for this sort of a schedule. Having twins after having a 4yo is hard hard work! Everything you take for granted, like taking a walk, or eating meals on time, or ironing your clothes, is reconsidered on a daily basis. 😆 That being said I wouldn't change a thing about my life right now or tomorrow or forever. I love coming home to three loving kids and a hard-working, beautiful girl who happens to be my wife (also my occasional weeknight vodka shot partner 🍸)
And among our crazy 9-7 jobs and (as of a couple of months ago) sleepless nights, food blogging takes a tiny bit of a backseat ya know! It is literally a luxury I can't afford to indulge in, when what's on the stove are meals for children for their dinners and lunches, and our meals can come later—or not! But they usually do, and they're not always that creative, sometimes frozen meals, and at times simple homemade stuff. But, every now and then, the planets will align and I'll find the time to whip out something good, something that's been on my mind as I commute, as I work or during meetings. And this French Apple Cake by the amazing David Lebovitz is just delicious, and totally my kinda thing.
I'm not a big fan of over the top stuff-laden cakes, aka 7 tier cakes with butter cream with sprinkles and Oroes sitting on top. But I do love me some simple coffee cakes that are classic and easy to make, also never been a fan of buttercream—whipped it is for me! Maybe it's the Indian in me, who grew up amongst at all the Victorian-era bakeries of New Delhi (Wenger's, Keventers).
I love visiting David's blog and reading about this sweet Parisian life, and drooling over his eclectic adventures and all the European recipes, and this one cake just hit home with me—the French Apple Cake—it was simple to make, had apples, oh and the twins were going to be napping for a couple of hours!! Like literally, all the stars and planets had aligned for me to do this. So me, my wife and my son teamed up and got to werk!!
There was so much excitement around this cake, that Neel agreed to turn off his weekend-only TV watching routine to help me out! He peeled the apples (and ate more than a few during the process), aired the flour, whisked the batter and we all passed the batter-coated whisk around for a taste of the delicious gooey batter.
The cake is so simple to make, it's one of those recipes that will get handed over generations to come, and has that grandma's recipe kind of simplicity and charm, and this was exactly what was needed. The only addition I made, was added Cardamom extract and some almonds on top for some nutty crunch. I love Cardamom in desserts, for me that is the quintessential taste of home, and the addition was such a simple improvisation to the recipe that it didn't change anything about the cake and it only made it better—for me at least (hope David isn't offended )
The ratio of batter to fruit in this cake is exactly how I like 'em cakes! Two-thirds fruit and one-thirds batter if I have to estimate, and the batter is super simple too, and once done just fold in the apples, bake and done!
And when it was done we all sat down, had some eggs and toast while the cake cooled off, and then dug in!!
French Apple Cardamom Cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe. Makes one 8-10 inch cake.
3/4 cup (110g) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples, a mix of varieties
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom extract (or 10 cardamom seeds crushed)
1/2 cup almonds for topping
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.
2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.
5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter
6. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.
7. Add the cardamom extract and whisk well again.
7. 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.
8. Add the almonds on top in an arrangement of your choosing.
8. 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.
Serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream.