Do you ever have those days when even with the very best laid plan things just don’t go your way? Today Sam and I are having one of those days, (but not to worry, there is most certainly a happy ending to this story). Our plan for today’s post was to make some French pastries, inspired by some of the things we were lucky enough to try when we went to Lille, France the weekend before Christmas. In fact I think each day in Lille went something like this: wake up, eat cakes, drink coffee, eat pastries, drink more coffee, take a picture of cakes and then finally eat dinner (not a bad way to spend a weekend I think you’ll agree):
How could you fail to be inspired to bake looking at all those goodies?
We really liked the idea of the French Epiphany cake, galette des rois au pommes, so had made sure we had lots of apples, cinnamon and puff pastry sat in the fridge waiting eagerly.
We got off to a pretty good start, peeled and chopped out apples, mixed them in sugar and cinnamon ready to roll out the pastry. Now we are not big on processed food, but puff pastry is one of those things which takes an awful lot of time to make and then can still be a bit hit or miss, so we had bought a couple of blocks of all butter puff pastry from the store.
This is where things went a bit wrong. The pastry was on it’s date, but should have been fine to use today. It was most definitely not! We opened both packs to discover they were both black and smelled bad. Not really words you hope to use to describe a baking project (I elected not to take pictures to share, it might put you off the deliciousness that followed).
So here is plan our plan B recipe, and proof that no baking project has really failed until you give up on it! Whilst not terribly French, the upside down cake is super tasty, and more importantly given that we already had a bowl of prepared apples waiting for a home, starts in exactly the same way. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Apple Upside Down Cake
For the topping:
3 Bramley Apples
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 large teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake batter:
3 large eggs
175 g plain flour
175g caster sugar
175g butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1) Apple Prep – Peel, core and slice the apples. As a slight aside Sam and I are both mad impressed if you can peel an apple as one continuous length of peel, we tried and failed. Both our mum’s can do it so we think maybe its one of those things that comes to you with age.
2) Sugar and Spice – Next add a teaspoon of cinnamon and the brown sugar and mix to coat all of the apples. This can now be set aside for half an hour during which time the sugar will draw out some of the water and help things from getting too soggy later.
3) All in one – Now for the cake batter. Easiest cake recipe in the world, literally throw all of your ingredients into the bowl together and then mix for a couple of minutes until you have a thick creamy batter. The final mix should be able to easily drop off a spoon. If the mix is a little still, use a tablespoon or two of the water which will have been drawn out of your apples to thin the mix out slightly.
4) Assemble your apples – In a 9 inch cake tin lined with parchment, lay out your apple slices in whatever pattern takes your fancy, so long as they are evenly spread.
5) Fill your tin and bake – Drop the cake batter on top of your apples and using a spatula, spread out the mix to cover them all evenly. This is best done with a slightly gently hand so you don’t disrupt the apples underneath. Once ready, bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 170ºC. To check if the cake is ready, insert a skewer into the cake a few times in different places. Each time it should come out clean. If it still is wet with cake batter give the cake a couple more minutes then try again.
6) Serve – Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and leave to sit in it’s tin for 5 minutes. Take a plate or serving dish and place it over the cake tin and turn upside down. All being well, your cake should drop out and have a beautiful surface of apples looking up at you ready to eat.
So there you have it, maybe not what we planned but equally delicious. Have you guys ever had any baking disasters that you have managed to save too? If we hadn’t been honest I reckon you guys wouldn’t even have known anything was up 😛
I realize this maybe wasn’t as healthy as our last apple related baking post, but all things in moderation right? We promise some more healthy food projects are on there way for all of your still trying to be good in the post Christmas weeks. We got our first Organic Veg box of the year this week which will certainly help!