I plant my flag. I sit by the warm fire. I see the road traveled so far,fruitful, full of joy and with lovely characters along the way.

Search This Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Normandy Apple Cake - Jane Webster

I did it! It is in my oven and I am proud. I screw up cakes all the time, but this time I think I have it right. The European or American recipes I tried so far are fantastic in European and American ovens but in South African ovens, it is something else. The self-raising flour you buy in South Africa is different from others. Bullshit, I hear you think, but I am right. Does your cake nearly come out of her comfortable tray? Yes, listen. I am giving away the trick. Add more flour than stated in the recipe. Also, add a teaspoon of baking powder, even though it is not in the recipe. Trust me. Your cakes from now on will be stunning and delicious. You will impress relatives, friends and colleagues more than you can imagine. And if you do, let me know.

I used Jane Webster’s Normandy Apple Cake recipe today. Jane and her husband Pete put their business in Melbourne on hold. They pull their children out of school to live the life they always dreamed of, in Normandy France. The Château is in reasonable shape, crying for restoration work though and waiting for life between its high classic walls and oak parquetry floors. In her cookbook At my French Table, Jane describes getting used to Château life. She shows to keep a house that size clean (for the ladies, this is without a maid!) and shows her cooking class ideas. She takes you out for Sunday lunches, to buy fresh ingredients from the local shops and shares her favorite recipes from spring to winter. The gorgeous pictures in the book in combination with Jane’s story lets us peak into ‘la vie française.’ Formidable! I love it.

You need granny smith apples, brown sugar, 250 gram (oops!) unsalted butter, caster sugar, eggs, 2 cups flour (use 100 gram more), milk, nutmeg and pouring cream to serve. I hope Jane forgives me for not buying the pouring cream. 250-gram butter, not diet proof and that is an understatement. I peeled and chopped the apples. Together with the brown sugar and water, I cooked them over medium heat. After that, I beat sugar, butter, eggs, flour (and baking powder) and milk and I poured the lovely batter into a 28 cm cake pan. Topped it with the cooled apples and sprinkled it with nutmeg. I baked the cake in the oven for 50 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

In her recipe, Jane says: ‘A slice of this teacake is a perfect mid-afternoon treat.’What a brilliant woman she is. I had the same idea. Ha. Enjoy your weekend guys, stay in for a change, and bake cakes!

At my French Table by Jane Webster, Normandy Apple Cake, page 238 La vie française
ISBN: 978-0670070329

Warm regards,

Abigail Summer

No comments: