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A mere two and a half weeks since the last SKC, I’m back with another try of one of Deb Perelman’s recipes. All in the name of healthy competition. Not in any way that I want to eat cake, you understand …

To change the subject slightly, after living here for a year I’ve finally gotten to grips with the garden. The last few weekends (i.e. every weekend in May) I’ve been buying plants and planting plants and digging up lawn to make new beds in order to buy more plants to plant them … You can see the vicious circle here, yes?

My mum feeds my new-found vegetative habit. So much so that when my father came over (my parents live in France, in case I haven’t mentioned this before …) instead of the normal delivery of fresh eggs, garlic, or other Frenchy nibbles I got half a garden centre’s worth of plants. Not kidding. But Saturday was spent on my knees (ahem – naughty). To celebrate the new garden, I invited some friends over to take a look. And due to commitments, it was a late afternoon visit – a perfect time for cake!

And when looking for a new recipe to make, I remembered the SKC and a lightbulb went off. As I was lovingly looking through the SK cookbook, I came across the recipe for “Mom’s Apple Cake” which fit the bill for both! Huzzah!

Follow the link for the basic recipe, but I made a few tweaks (some even on purpose) …

  • I added a small punnet of blackberries to the middle layer of apple
  • McIntosh apples? No chance … 7 of the best Granny Smiths the supermarket had to offer!
  • No ‘tube pan’ (aka Bundt tin), so instead I used a 9″ springform. Perhaps this was the reason that it was in the oven for very almost 2 hours instead of the stated 1.5 hours …
  • Because I do not check certain ingredients often (somehow thinking that the refill fairy comes without my knowledge) the tablespoon of cinnamon was more like a teaspoon or two (to the detriment of the overall flavour, unfortunately) and the 2.5 teaspoons of vanilla was possible only 2 at a stretch

I’ve never made a cake that used oil instead of butter for the fat content, and I have to say it was a little odd. It did remind me of a recipe that my mum was given years ago called German Apple Cake which was the same principle – fruit suspended in a batter and baked – but this batter rose. A lot. Perhaps it was the tablespoon of baking powder that went in it. Perhaps it was because my tin was both smaller diameter-wise and shorter height-wise. Perhaps it was fact that it was a Springform and not a Bundt tin. I have no answer to that.

Some of those could also explain the fact that it was in the oven 30 more minutes than expected, thus definitely adding a … caramelised element to the top (and by ‘caramelised’ I mean ‘carbonised in places’ – but still tasted like fruit!).

You say burnt, I say caramelised

I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t be cooked in the centre, but I have to say that it wasn’t half bad! I think with some further experimentation (and by that I mean basically tweaking it to actually fit the tins I have – heaven forfend I buy another tin) this could be spectacular. The fault for not calling it spectacular now lies solely with me and not the recipe!