This has become my favorite cake to make! As simple as it is to put together (I'm getting to the point of memorizing it), it looks elegant and is wonderfully delicious and clean in flavor. I love the tweaking possibilities too. This time I turned SG's cake upside down w/ apples and brown sugar placed on the bottom before adding the smooth, stiff batter. See photo and link to original recipe.
I used 3 smallish peeled granny smiths and sliced them quite thin like you see in French apple tarts. I wanted the fruit to melt seamlessly into the cake, but if you want more texture, then cut in thicker slices. I squeezed on some lemon juice while cutting up the fruit to add more tartness and prevent discoloration. Buttered pan and sprinkled on 2-3 TB brown sugar. Neatly fanned apple slices into concentric circle. Poured batter on top and carefully spread out so as to not move apples.
As always, I used 3/4 c. of superfine sugar. To go w/ this fruit choice, I added cinnamon (Penzeys Vietnamese) and nutmeg to the batter. I also used a special Tahitian vanilla extract that my sis brought back from Tahiti. Deep and floral scent. Served w/ French vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I cooled for about 15 min. before unmolding.
Lovely, lovely, lovely! As usual, it wasn't too sweet and the tart apples were balanced by the brown sugar and buttery cake. Apples melted into the cake, which had a subtle coconut note from the Tahitian vanilla. I've never really cared for much cinnamon, but Penzeys has totally changed that! Highly recommended. My family (every female being a good baker and every male being a good eater) enjoyed this cake very much!
While I liked this delicate version, I think I'll try it w/ apples on top next time. I'm realizing what a nut I am for caramelization in general, and I missed that in this cake. Another possibility is to run under broiler or blow torch after turning out. The apples will stay moist but still get a flash of caramelization to finish. Thanks again, SG, and you bakers who report back on your experiments w/ this wonder of a cake. I really appreciated the fact that I could spontaneously look up the recipe online when I was miles away from my home base.
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