Sunday, January 22, 2017

One morning - two apple cakes

The overnight cake going to the refrigerator last night

The overnight cake fresh out of the oven

I noticed I had some apples that needed to be used in my refrigerator last week, so I decided to try one of the recipes on my Baking Project list - Apfelkuchen - this weekend.  Apfelkuchen is a German dessert; the word translates to apple cake.  Normally, this is a yeasted cake that contains - yes, you guessed it - apples.  I have not worked with yeast as a component of cakes before, so I was entering new territory.

I decided last night to give myself an easy start by trying a non-yeasted apple cake that uses buttermilk and both baking powder and soda combined with an overnight proofing time to replicate the traditional yeast method.  You can find the recipe here. I mixed it up and put it in the refrigerator yesterday evening.  This morning, I pulled it out and, after a "warming" period, it went in the oven and started to smell glorious.  This recipe was a big success for my personal tastes.  If I was staying at someone's house and they offered this for breakfast, I would definitely be a happy guest!  However, the apples are not a big part of the overall dish.  The recipe specifies an overall volume to add, but not the size to chop the apples.  I roughly diced them which used 1 1/2 medium sized apples, and a small piece of the cake only contains one or two pieces.  So, not a recipe to use if you are looking for something that tastes strongly of apples.
Adding my homemade vanilla to the yeasted cake

Apples spread over the yeast dough

The first piece out of the yeasted cake

The second cake was a traditional Apfelkuchen - recipe here - I chose this particular recipe because of the comments that it had the same taste as Apfelkuchen that the reviewers had eaten in Germany.  The apples are definitely more of a star in this cake.  I thought the flavor combination was a little faint though - perhaps a bit more cinnamon or lemon peel might have punched it up a bit or even a switch to honey as the sweetener.  It definitely tasted better cooler than fresh out of the oven; most cakes are the opposite in my experience.  The yeast action seemed to work correctly - I had a good rise during the proofing time - but I was left a little unsure of the purpose of choosing yeast over other rising agents in this dessert.  I'll need to do a little more research on this later to satisfy my curiosity.  So, a bit of a mixed review on this one - the recipe worked great, but my personal taste reaction was "meh".

I am hoping to get at least one more cake (possibly two) made this weekend in an effort to push myself forward with my baking project.  So ... off to the kitchen!

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