I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

She's Apples, Mate!

I had temporarily forgotten that this is sorta supposed to be a cooking and baking blog...but then it's a Mommy blog, too - so that's my excuse! In any case here is a recipe to keep you happy for a while.

Apple cake is not something I would normally bake in the summertime. Summer, to me, is cookies I can take to the local pool, no-bake slices, novelty baking (where I try out things I wouldn't normally bake) and baking which involves little effort. Summer is not a time for heavy, cinnamon-y apple things. However, sometimes you just bake things so you can get your hands into some dough to improve your mood. Therapeutic baking is all about the sensory experience. The slippery, shiny bright orange of a fresh egg yolk, the shhhhhhhhhh sound of sugar pouring into a bowl, the glug-glug of oil, the first taste of sweet raw batter, the squishy feel of cold butter between your fingertips. Baking is therapy without the high bills and the uncomfortable couch.

So I found myself on summer eve, with a grumpy mind and a basketful of apples which were sadly beyond their crunch-by date. Hmmmm. I reached for a cookbook I don't use all that often - Bundt Classics (published by Nordic Ware, the makers of Bundt pans!). It should be noted that this cookbook is very annoying. A vast majority of the recipes start with "one box yellow cake mix"...and we all know that NO recipe should ever, ever start that way. It's baking sacrilege! This book also has a number of savoury recipes - like Shepherd's Pie - which you can make in a Bundt pan. Now maybe it's just me, but I don't really want to see what "Spaghetti Florentine" looks like an a floral shape.

There is something very 1970's about a classic Bundt pan, isn't there? To me it just screams "orange and brown curtains in the kitchen!" and Tupperware in a variety of mustard, orange and brown shades. In perusing the book I decided (with DH's assistance) to go with an equally 70's inspired recipe - Apple Streusel Cake. Who eats struesel nowadays? Clearly, the house of emzee does. Damn, but this cake was GOOD. Neither summery nor fashionable, but one worth baking when you find yourself in need of a Prozac and with a bucketload of apples at your disposal.

Apple Streusel Cake
Courtesy or "Bundt Classics" brought to you by Nordic Ware
(Note: Recipe has been given the emzee treatment - in other words, made easier!)

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup butter, chopped into small pieces
2 tsp cinnamon

3 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 T baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
4 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Heat oven to 325 / 160. Grease your best 1970's bakeware (Bundt of course). Put all the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and mix around a bit. In a large mixing bowl, put all the cake ingredients except the apples. Stir it around with a fork for a while, until you get bored or it's all mixed together. It'll be a very thick dough. Plop a scant amount of dough into the Bundt. Layer the apples in the tin (be generous with them, and be as neat or as messy as you like. Makes no difference to the end product.) Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Plop a bit more dough in, do the apple thing, do the streusel thing, and finish with whatever's left of the dough. Bake for 75-85 minutes or until a toothpick is clear or you can't stand the good smells any more and you need to eat some cake NOW.

Cool ten minutes in the pan then turn out and eat warm, so that the bottom part falls off and goes all gooey, like this:

Serve with a tall glass of cold milk, a mug of steaming hot tea, a ball of good quality vanilla bean ice cream... or do all that on the second piece. Just shove the first piece of 70's goodness into your gob right away. It's well worth it.


DH said...

Hmmmmmmm ... cinnamony, sugary goodness! Ahhhhh. Yum.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, now i know what I'll be making for desert one of the coming weeks. Looks delicious!


Anonymous said...

Forgot to ask - it is really critical to peel the apples? I'm a lazy baker and I pretty much always leave on the peels for my apple pies and other creations.....

shoshana (the very lazy :)

emzeegee & the hungry three said...


I don't think it's critical to peel them, as long as you slice them fairly thinly. Too thick and you'll end up with kinda 'leathery' pieces of skin in there.

Good luck!!


Anonymous said...

Verdict - "ima can i have more". I'd say its a hands down winner, especially hot!

And now with winter here and cheap apples, I expect this one will reappear often.

ONly problem was mine didn't remove nicely from the bundt pan - but no worries. It was good to keep it in pan for warming up again on saturday morning....

Yummm, off to finish what little remained


emzeegee & the hungry three said...


Glad it was a hit! I'm hanging onto the recipe (and the terrible book) for next winter. It was DELISH hot...and as for removing it from the Bundt, give it a very liberal shpritz with oil spray, and make sure to start with cake batter, THEN the apples.



Weinraub Family said...

Yumm! I love apple cake. I also think I happen to have 4 apples in my house. Guess what we are having this weekend?


Weinraub Family said...

OMG M, I made this today and took it to coffee with friends. I thought the women were going to like the crumbs off the plate! I was nice enough to save a hunk for Alan though.

I don't even want to think of all the exercise I am gonna have to do to get that cake off my thighs!!

It was sure yummy!