Venetian Apple Cake: Adriatico – Paola Bacchia

Adriatico_cover

From Adriatico: Stories and recipes from Italy’s Adriatic Coast by Paola Bacchia

(Smith Street Books, September 2018 – AU$ 55, NZ$ 65)

 

Venetian apple cake

Torta di mele

 Venetian apple cake

SERVES 10–12

4 tart apples

juice of 1 small lemon

3 eggs

150 g (5½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus 2 teaspoons extra

150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour

30 g (1 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)

1 scant teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

80 g (2¾ oz) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the base and side of a 23 cm (9 in) cake tin with a removable base.

 

Peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters, then cut each quarter into four or five slices, depending on how big the apple is. Place in a bowl, add the lemon juice and toss so the slices are coated (this will help stop them going brown). Set aside while you prepare the batter.

 

Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Place the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk briefly. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until well incorporated, then add the butter and vanilla and fold until well combined.

 

Divide the apple slices into two portions: one of about 250 g (9 oz) and the other of about 150 g (5½ oz). Cut the larger portion of apple slices in half, then fold them into the batter, including any juice from the bowl. Leave the remaining 150 g (5½ oz) apple slices uncut and set them aside.

 

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Arrange the remaining apple slices in a circular pattern on top of the cake, pressing them down gently so they partially sink into the batter. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and the extra sugar.

 

Bake for 50 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Authors note:

Most families on the islands in the lagoon have a recipe for apple cake their nonna or grandmother used to make – simple recipes that can be whipped up in a short amount of time, using pantry ingredients and apples, which are available most of the year.

 

I generally use tart apples when making cakes as I find the tartness balances all the sugar you add. Granny smiths are my favourites, though fuij or pink lady will also do. The addition of cinnamon to the top of the cake is a personal thing – my mother would never have dreamed of using it on her apple cakes as my father had an aversion to it. He used to say in half-Italian half-English ‘non usar quella bloody cannella’ (‘Don’t use that bloody cinnamon’), where ‘bloody’ was pronounced more like ‘blah-di’. I leave the decision entirely up to you.

Nut Cake: The Scandinavian Belly Fat Program – Berit Nordstrand

he-scandinavian-belly-fat-program

Images and recipes from The Scandinavian Belly Fat Program by Berit Nordstrand (Murdoch Books) RRP $35.00

 

Nut Cake

This is a wonderful cake that does not require baking. It contains neither gluten nor dairy products.” p41

serves 6

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or pepitas
(pumpkin seeds)

5 fresh dates or prunes, stones removed

100 g (3½ oz) raisins

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)

pinch of sea salt

1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (flower honey is best)

 

nut-cake

 

Process half of the nuts and seeds in a blender, until quite finely ground. Repeat with the rest
of the nuts and seeds. Transfer all the blended nuts and seeds to a mixing bowl.

Put the dates and raisins in the blender and run it at full speed until they are finely chopped.

Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla powder and sea salt into the blended nuts, and stir in the chopped dates and raisins.

Drizzle over the maple syrup or honey. Bring the dough together with your fingers.

Press out the dough in a cake shape that measures approximately 22 cm (8½ inches) in ­diameter, or press it out into six small portions.

 

TOPPING SUGGESTIONS

plain yoghurt, fresh fruit, dark chocolate flakes and lemon balm, mint or chervil

sour cream, softened cranberries and lemon balm, mint or chervil

sour cream and oven-baked apple slices with ground cinnamon

fresh blueberries and 2 pears simmered until tender in 200 ml (7 fl oz) apple juice, then diced

100 g (3½ oz) melted dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon organic coconut butter, combined to make a chocolate sauce

 

Walnut Cake – Good Food Great Life – Judy Phillips

Cover Good Life Great Food

Recipes by Judy Phillips. Photos by Louise Lister.

WALNUT CAKE

makes one 25 x 30 cm (10 x 12 in) cake

 

“Hungary is famous for its cakes, especially ones made using loads of finely ground nuts instead of flour. This one, which contains only three ingredients, is from my grandmother’s collection and it’s a good one to serve at Passover, or occasions when you need something that’s gluten free. This cake is particularly moist and it does keep for a few days, although it never lasts long in our house.

walnut cake

6 eggs, separated

200 g (7 oz) caster  (superfine) sugar

210 g (7 1⁄2  oz/1 3⁄4 cups )  walnut meal

 

Lemon Icing

125 g (1 cup/4 1⁄2 oz)  icing sugar, or as  required

125 ml (½ cup/4 fl oz) lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350°F). Line the base and sides of a 25 x 30 cm (10 x 12 in) cake tin with baking paper.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Using electric beaters, whisk until the mixture is thick and pale and holds a trail when the beaters are lifted.

In a large bowl and using clean beaters, whisk the egg whites  until firm peaks form.

Fold the walnuts into the yolk mixture  and then gently stir a third of the whites into the mixture to loosen.

Gently fold in the remaining whites, taking care not  to deflate them too much.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, smoothing the top even.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Immediately turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool.

For the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl then combine with the lemon juice. Whisk until smooth and combined well, adding a little more icing sugar if the mixture is too thin.  It should have a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

To serve, cut into 6 cm (2 1⁄2 in) squares.” Judy

Little Coconut Cakes – David Herbert’s Best Home Cooking – David Herbert

David Herbert's Best Home Cooking

Recipe from David Herbert’s Best Home Cooking by David Herbert with photography by Brent Parker Jones, published by Lantern rrp$39.99

Little coconut cakes

Makes 12

 

Little Coconut Cakes

 

“This is another simple recipe, with the appealing combination of lime and coconut. The dry and wet ingredients are simply mixed together and poured into paper cases for baking. The whipped cream topping is delicious, but optional.

 

2 cups (300 g) self-raising flour 1 teaspoon baking powder

²⁄³ cup (150 g) caster sugar pinch of salt

finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes ²⁄³ cup (50 g) desiccated coconut

1 free-range egg

¾ cup (185 ml) coconut milk 100 ml sunflower oil

2–3 tablespoons flaked coconut, plus extra to garnish (optional)

whipped double cream, to serve (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C). Grease a 12-hole muffin tin or line with paper

 

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the lime zest and desiccated coconut.

 

  • Beat together the egg, coconut milk, oil and lime juice and pour this into the dry ingr Stir until just combined.

 

  • Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin holes, to about two-thirds full, and sprinkle with a pinch or two of flaked Bake for 20 minutes or until well risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you like, top each cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of flaked coconut.” pp260-261

 

 

My Effort:

This was as easy and delicious as David says it is.

Little Coconut Cakes

                  Little Coconut Cakes