Individual German Apple Cakes
After visiting my Grandma and spending the afternoon gathering cooking apples from her ancient apple tree, I was inspired to bake my Aunt’s moist seven inch apple cake. I thought I would adapt the recipe, which came from my mum’s slightly splattered hand written recipe book, and make individual versions. The little cakes turned out to be surprisingly light, with the demerara sugar bringing a wonderful crunch, contrasting the soft sponge spiked with slightly sharp apple, warm cinnamon and sweet amaretto.
The recipe was labeled in my Mum’s book as a ‘German Apple Cake’ and despite a little research, asking both my Aunt and Mum, I am still struggling to find what exactly makes this cake ‘German’. If you’re particularly interested in food with a modern German twist, then it’s definitely worth checking out two of my favourite blogs – Kiki’s great food blog with a touch of glamour, a hint of elegance and lot of creativity, Dinner for n(one) and Wendy’s wonderful taste of what it’s like to be a talented American cook living in Germany, Chez Chloe
Individual German Apple Cakes
55g or 2 oz unsalted butter, plus a little for greasing
55g or 2 oz granulated sugar
115g or 4 oz self-raising flour, sifted
pinch of salt
one large egg
55g or 2 oz sultanas
one teaspoon of amaretto
half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
quarter teaspoon of ground ginger
225g or 8 oz cooking apples (peeled, cored and cut into small chunks)
30g or 1 oz demerara sugar
Firstly, preheat your oven to 170°C (fan oven)/ 190°C/ 400 Fahrenheit/ gas mark 6 and grease a deep muffin tin, lightly coating each muffin cup with a little butter.
Next, melt the rest of the butter gently in a large saucepan over a low heat. Off the heat and using wooden spoon, stir in the sugar, flour, salt and enough of the beaten egg to make a smooth, stiff dough. Take a dessertspoonful of this mixture and press into one of the greased muffin cups, covering the bottom and spreading the dough up the sides of the cup. Use up about half of the dough mixture and repeat this for the remaining eight muffin cups.
Once you have your tin lined with the cake dough, you can start making your apple filling. Mix together the sultanas and amaretto, and then mix in the cinnamon, ginger and apple chunks. If you aren’t a fan of the fragrant almond sweetness of amaretto, feel free to substitute in a splash of spiced dark rum, a little bourbon or even some orange juice. Share this apple mixture between the nine cakes, flatten the down the apples a little and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Finally, cover each cake with spoonfuls of the remaining dough mixture. Don’t worry about making this final topping smooth and elegant as these apple cakes definitely benefit from homely and rustic messiness.
Bake in the preheated oven for around twenty five minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown. Leave in the tin for five minutes to cool slightly and then lift out the cakes and leave to cool on a wire rack. If you are serving them warm, plate up each apple cake with a generous dollop of crème fraiche.