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I love this cake.
It's a basic pound cake, so it's easy to make
but the simple addition of sliced apples
makes it just a little more special.
I've adapted the recipe just slightly by adding
a layer of sliced apples in the centre
between the batter
and then again on top,
pressing both down in the centre
to keep them as flat as possible while baking.
I also grind the almonds loosely in a mortar & pestle
to give the finished cake a bit of a rustic feel.
Once baked I dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
It's great warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream
or toasted for breakfast on day two.
Everyday Apple & Almond Cake
Part of what gives this cake its light texture is beating the butter and sugar well, so don't rush this step.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract (I omit the extract & use the contents of 1 vanilla bean)
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup loosely ground skin on almonds (I use a mortar & pestle for this)
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
2 small/medium green apples, cored and sliced (I added these)
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9x5x3” loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess. (I often make two cakes from one recipe, 1 in a 6" springform and 1 small loaf. The recipe works well doubled as well, in this case 1-6" springform and 2-7.5"x2.5" straight sided loaf pans, similar to these ones).
Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk and ½ cup crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and ¾ cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula, then add vanilla and almond extracts.
Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat just until combined. Scrape a layer of batter into whichever prepared pans you've chosen, make place a single later or apple slices, arranged in a fan from outside to inside. Add another layer of batter (your pan should be approx. 2/3 full) place another layer of sliced apples. Sprinkle with almonds.
Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55–65 minutes. (Tent with foil if browning too quickly.)
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack; let cool.
Slice cake and serve with Tea-Poached Plums and crème fraîche. (I like to serve warm with vanilla ice cream and skip the tea poached pears since I've add the apples.)
We bake a lot of cookies around here
and we do a lot of shipping.
What you might not know
is that we also ship a lot of baked goods.
Even frosted cakes complete with HG candles!
From the very start of Herriott Grace,
I've always shipped baked goods to my father.
I guess it's been a trade of sorts.
He ships me the wooden pieces he makes,
I bake all sorts of things to shoot them with
and once I'm done shooting
I overnight him the leftovers.
It's funny, we've been doing this a while now
but recently I hadn't thought to share our tried and true recipes.
So starting today, I'm going to do just that.
This cookie recipe comes from our friend Tara O'Brady.
It travels well both through the post and on a plane.
In fact, we sent most of this batch to my father
only saving a few to take our own flight the next day.
As always, they were perfection.
If ever you have any questions about packing,
shipping or recipe details please pop over to our
instagram or facebook and ask them there.
It'll be fastest way to get a response. :)
1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon medium-grain kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, soft but not warm
1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel or finely grated peel of half an orange [optional]
1 egg, cool
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (150 g) traditional rolled oats
1/2 cup (60 g) chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup (40 g) chopped dates
3 tablespoons butter toffee bits
2 1/2 ounces (60 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat an oven to 350˚F (180˚C) with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two half sheet pans or heavy, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground spices. Set aside.
Affix the paddle attachment to a stand mixer. In its bowl, combine the butter, sugars and peel. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, around four minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters, then beat for an additional three minutes. Scrape everything down once more, then turn the machine to medium and add the egg. Mix until smooth, scraping down once, then pour in the vanilla extract. Set the mixer to stir, then add the flour mixture. Once almost combined, but with flour still visible, stir in the oats, followed by the walnuts, dates, chocolate and toffee bits.
With two spoons or a spring-loaded scoop, form 12 balls of dough, using roughly 2 1/2 tablespoons for each. Arrange the balls evenly on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space for them to spread. Bake in the hot oven until puffed with dry, evenly golden tops, 13 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans once during baking, from front-to-back and top-to-bottom. Pull the pans from the oven and immediately knock each against the stove top or counter to force out any trapped air (this will cause the cookies to deflate quickly, and make for exceptionally craggy tops). Let the cookies cool on their pans for three minutes before moving them to a baking rack to cool completely.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Over time, the cookies will soften; to reinstate their crunch, rewarm in a low oven for a few minutes.
Notes from Tara:
I usually toast the walnuts while the oven is preheating. Spread the walnuts on one of the pans and bake until aromatic and snappy, about five to 10 minutes depending on the temperature. Make sure to stir them often. Transfer the nuts to a bowl once they’re cool enough to touch. Shake any walnut dust off the parchment paper before continuing with the cookies.
Cake flour instead of all-purpose will garner a lighter, slightly crispier cookie, while whole-wheat pastry flour offers the suggestion of virtue.
Using chocolate bars or blocks rather than chips means that the chocolate will melt into the cookies rather than staying in discrete shapes. This is my preference, as the resulting rills extend the chocolate’s reach.
If you keep the general volume of add-ins, feel free to swap and adapt as you like. Ground nutmeg, cardamom or fennel seed can take over for the ginger and cinnamon; dried figs, cranberries, cherries, apricots or brandy-soaked raisins in place of the dates; white or milk chocolate for the bittersweet; pecans for the walnuts; and dried coconut or minced candied ginger for the toffee bits. For the latter, reduce the amount to 2 tablespoons.
A generous pinch of finely ground espresso is effective in these cookies, its flinty bitterness working exceptionally well with the dried fruits suggested.
In my mind, one of the best uses of squash is cake.
And I love the one in the Gjelina cookbook.
It's made with kabocha, a dense, sweet winter squash.
You bake, squeeze and hang the puree overnight
which yields a beautifully textured batter and a near perfect crumb.
That's matched with Travis's velvety olive glaze (olive oil glaze?! amazing!)
and crunchy toasted pepitas and cocoa nibs.
Find the recipe below and the book in our shop.
Reprinted with permission from the book, Gjelina by Travis Lett. Chronicle Books, 2015.
One 1-lb [455-g] piece of kabocha squash, seeded
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, plus 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp [255 ml]
1 1/2 cups [180 g] all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups [265 g] granulated sugar
8 oz [230 g] bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 Tbsp pepitas
OLIVE OIL GLAZE
1 1/4 cups [150 g] confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp hot water, plus more as needed
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp crushed cacao nibs
Preheat the oven to 425˚F [220˚C]. On a baking sheet, drizzle the squash with olive oil, turn the piece cut side down, and cook until very soft and beginning to caramelize around the edges, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Scrape out the squash flesh and transfer to the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
In a large piece of cheesecloth, wrap the puréed squash in a tight bundle. Put in a colander set over a bowl and let drain at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. Squeeze by twisting the cheesecloth to remove any excess water. Unwrap the drained squash and measure out 1 cup [225 g]. (Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, saving for another use).
Preheat over to 325˚F [165˚C]. Butter a 9-by-5-in [23-by-12-cm] loaf pan. (I used a 8-by-3 1/2-in straight sided loaf pan and 2 5-in savarin moulds.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, olive oil, squash purée, and eggs. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the squash mixture. Whisk until just combined. Stir the chocolate into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until browned on the top and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, 75-90 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and invert the cake from the pan and let cool on the rack for another 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate.
In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, gently toast the pepitas just until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool.
To make the glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with the 2 Tbsp hot water until you have a thick glaze. Add more confectioners' sugar or water as needed to create a smooth glaze with the viscosity of honey. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly.
Pour the glaze over the cake, allowing it to drip over the sides. Sprinkle with the cacao nibs and pepitas and let the glaze set completely before serving, about 1 hour.
Probably one of the simplest desserts out there, yet so good. The texture is amazing and I love how it puffs and then falls. I made this one in a medium Workaday Casserole from the shop and it was the perfect size. Also, full disclosure, I almost ate the entire thing.
Reprinted from Epicurious which originally reprinted it from the book Cooking From the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way by John Besh. Copyright © 2013 John Besh. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or, my edit: the contents of 1 vanilla bean)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325˚F. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter until the sugar is dissolved. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into a cast iron skillet or pie pan.
Now add your favourite fruit or flavouring (see below). Bake until the clafoutis is beautiful puffed and golden. 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately.
Concord Grapes: Once the batter is in the skillet, scatter 2 cups slightly crushed Concrd or other black or red grapes on top.
Cherry Clafoutis: Scatter 2 cups of pitted cherries onto the batter once it's poured into pie pans.
Pear Clafoutis with Pear Eau de Vie: Core 1 ripe pear and cut into pieces. Pour the batter into the skillet and top with the pear pieces. Bake. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons eau de vie and serve immediately.
Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Clafoutis: Melt 1 cup chopped milk chocolate in a large mixing bowl set above a simmering pot of water. Fold in the clafoutis batter until smooth and fully incorporated. Pour into a skillet or pie plate, sprinkle with 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, and bake.