This is me following a recipe: “OHMYGOD I added one extra drop of milk, that’s it, this is ruined, my life is ruined, everything is ruined!!”
This is my Mom following a recipe: “Oooo look, a great recipe! How about I don’t follow it at all and create my own even greater recipe?”
This is me watching my Mom NOT following a recipe: “Um, ok, but that’s not what it says….”
*end of act*
In my mind, baking is about precision and instinct. But mostly precision. In my Mom’s case, this is really not that much of an issue. After decades of cooking and baking, apparently I will also know what it means to halve only some ingredients in a recipe, leave the others as is, triple some others, and miraculously, produce a great cake.
I was in Delhi last week, messing up my Mom’s kitchen, eating these modaks and diving into this apple cake like my life depended on it. It did, in a way.
Originally, this is a Smitten Kitchen recipe which fabulous as it sounded, was too large a cake for the oven my Mom has. So we decided to reduce the recipe a bit, but not in the way fractions are usually calculated. I will spare you the hysterics as my Mom proceeded to do the strangest math I’d ever seen. But the sum is greater than its parts, as this seriously moist, super duper flavourful cake proved.
The earlier apple cake on this blog, also a recipe from my Mom, was delicious, but this new one really takes the cake. Hee hee. Therefore, it’s an even better apple cake. There was no other title more befitting.
The loveliest thing about it is that the apples aren’t grated, but chopped up and layered with the batter. We had never heard of something like that, and I don’t think anyone should be making apple cake any other way.
I really think you should make this, it’s too good not to.
What you’ll need:
For the apples
3 tbsps brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
For the batter
2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
What to do:
1. Peel, core and chop the apples into chunks. Toss with the cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Grease 10″ springform pan or cake dish of your choice and preheat the oven to 175 C.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, sugars, orange juice and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat well.
5. Add the dry ingredients and fold gently to combine.
6. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan, top with half the apples, spreading them evenly. Spoon the remaining batter over the apples, smooth it out and top with the remaining apples.
7. Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Baking times will vary depending on the oven you use so watch the cake carefully after 50 minutes.
8. Allow to cool a bit before slicing and jumping into it 🙂