Marie Wolf (breadbasketcase) made The Best and Easiest Home-made Bread recently and I wrote her telling her that I would give this bread a try, so here it is. I started it on Thursday evening and let the sponge sit overnight in our cool kitchen so that it would be ready for the final mixing and rising Friday morning and hopefully ready for lunch. The dough was pretty easy to handle and I let it rise in my banneton, but the kitchen was cool because it is so cold outside and it took a little longer to rise. I inverted the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, slashed the dough and set in the oven to bake. The finished loaf is quite lovely and I was quite excited about it. My son and I had some for lunch and it was good. Thank you Marie for posting the recipe, I’m always happy to try new ones.
My husband and I are joining about 16 friends and acquaintances on a hike tomorrow and then going back to our dear friends Rod and Julie’s home for a pot luck lunch and I offered to bring dessert. I hummed and hawed about what to make and finally decided on a Fresh Apple Cake because apples are in season and thought it to be a fitting dessert for a fall day. The recipe comes from the Fanny Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham. I made this cake years ago and remembered it to be quite good. It is a spicy cake chock full of finely diced apples, raisins and chopped walnuts and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. Since my husband doesn’t like fruit in desserts I also made a batch of brownies. Hopefully the hike plus the pot luck lunch and good company will become an annual tradition to look forward to.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar but I find that it is quite sweet so I've decreased the sugar to 3/4 cup. I doubled the recipe to make a 13 x 9 inch cake.
Fresh Apple Cake
(one 8-inch square cake)
There is no need to peeel the apples for this moist and spicy cake. It is at its best the day it is made and absolutely delicious plain or frosted.
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped raw apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan. In a large mixing bow, beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until well blended. Add the eaggs and vanilla and beat well. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, and sift them together into the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until smooth and well blended: the mixture will be very stiff. Add the chopped apple, rainins and the optional walnuts, and beat well.
Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Serve warm or cool, with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream, if you wish.
Fresh Pear Cake. Substitute 2 cups finely chopped raw pear for the apple.
Well here it is, my first blog and thank you Melinda for giving me the push I needed.