Thursday, October 29, 2015
apple buckwheat cake.
The first time I ate this cake, I wondered why I wasted half a dozen eggs and my really good buckwheat flour on it. It just wasn't what I expected. I expected more! More pizzaz, more excitement, more everything. I realize in hindsight that the first time I ate this cake, it was sharing a plate with homemade s'mores pie and I think everything in life pales in comparison to homemade s'mores pie. You can't expect a buckwheat cake to shine brightly when paired with chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallow. You just can't.
But the next day, I revisited the cake. I made it the first thing I ate that day (it has apples therefore it qualifies as breakfast) and this time I loved it. This is not a cake that sings and it's not for people that expect big bold flavors (or chocolate) in their dessert. This is a cake for people who appreciate whispers, subtle nuances, and afternoon tea. This is a cake for those who appreciate biscotti and the simpler things in live. Or maybe it's just for people who can enjoy blondies stuffed with nuts,chocolate, and shards of caramel and a simple buckwheat apple cake. If you're anything like me (a person who loves all desserts), you'll appreciate this. Sometimes it's necessary to balance the desserts that scream dessert with something simpler and this cake does just that.
Apple Buckwheat Cake
Recipe from Huckleberry
I only had a 9-inch cake pan so I baked it in that. It fit, though it took longer to bake which is why I think the bottom of my cake ended up as brown as it did. I think next time, I'ld move it higher in the oven so it's not so close to the heat source the entire time.
Makes one 10-in/25-cm cake
For the Cake
1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1-2/3 cups/340 g sugar, plus 2 tbsp
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 or 4 apples; 1 peeled and grated, and 2 or 3 peeled and sliced 1/8 in/3 mm thick, cores reserved
1-1/2 cups/150 g almond flour
3/4 cup/100 g buckwheat flour
2/3 cup/75 g all-purpose flour
1/3 cup/55 g cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
For the Glaze
½ cup/100 g sugar
½ cup/120 ml water
Pinch of kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
Apple cores (reserved from making the cake)
Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease a 10-in/25-cm round cake pan.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, 1-2/3 cups/340 g sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well between each addition. Add the grated apple and mix. Then add the almond flour, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, top with the sliced apples, arranging them in pretty concentric circles, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the sugar, water, salt, vanilla bean seeds and pod (if using), and apple cores together in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Set aside to infuse.
Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.
While the cake is still warm, brush the glaze all over the top and sides and garnish with the nonedible vanilla pod.