The Cake that Almost Wasn’t
Though I only have time for a few, I do manage to follow some other food blogs. I especially like to focus on ones that are all about the food, such as Smitten Kitchen. A few weeks ago I read about Deb’s mother’s apple cake and immediately put in on my “to bake” list. From what I’ve read, I really like Deb – a Jewish girl in NYC, like me, with a quirky sense of humor and a love of things like butter.
This past week, I found time to make the cake. First step? Peeling. Truthfully, I hate peeling. Though I realize it’s a necessity, I find the task unreasonably frustrating and trying. A true exercise in patience, at least for me. However I only needed to do six apples, so I pushed through.
(That’s cinammon and sugar on the apples.)
On to the next steps. The recipe called for ingredients, such as orange juice, that I had never used in baking before. Plus, since I love apple desserts and we’re in the midst of glorious Fall, I was excited to taste my final prodct. But then things went wrong, kind of. I made the first batch, and the batter felt ridiculously thick. So thick that it wouldn’t pour into my new bundt pan (thanks, mom) and needed to scoop instead. Something in my baker’s gut said “this feels wrong.” That sentence then continued to escape my mouth every five minutes. I even admitted something that no patient taster (H) wants to hear – “we might have to call this a failure and have ice cream instead.”
In an effort to save the cake, I returned to the recipe and discovered that the flour needed sifting. Ok, maybe that will fix it. So I tossed Round 1 and made Round 2. Better, but still thick. I then decided I had no choice – I needed to forge ahead. So even though the recipe called for two layers, I made one instead. Here is the cake pre-oven. Looking on the bright side, I found it rather pretty
The cake entered the oven and I said a little prayer. Also set the timer to 60, rather than 90, minutes. Thought maybe less layers would mean less time. But after 60, and then 75 minutes, the cake still felt wet (via a toothpick) so I baked it for the full time. Once the cake emerged, I was feeling optimistic
I picked a few apples off the top and they tasted delicious – sugared and spiced and everything nice. After cooling, though, I was met a dilemna – how do I get it out of this pan? I even told H that we might need to eat as a crumble instead. He was down. But then I “learned as I chopped” and remembered I could flip the pan. Tada! Result is on top.
Admittedly, I definitely think I did something wrong. The cake was decent, but not great. I liked the apples, but the cake part was a little dry. I thefefore think I might try this again. For posterity’s sake, of course. In the meantime, enjoy!