An October filled with too much partying, falling off my workout schedule, and too many carb-rich and cakey indulgences later, I vowed to spend a sober November getting back to sensible eating and some strict discipline with respect to food and other aspects of my life.
On one of my blog following sprees, I chanced upon this recipe for Apple Fennel Cake on a very well-written and beautiful blog. I went weak and felt that all-familiar need to bake that cake again, I struggled hard not to give in and tried to make do with ogling. It didn’t help! How could I respect myself if I gave in? Then I sought solace in the fact that it was just the 30th of October, I still had 2 days till 1st of November. So maybe this cake would be good way to bid sweet adieu to baking before I began my “No-baking-cakes-or-their-variations-for-pleasure and no-obsessing-over-food in November” resolve.
I checked my pantry and fridge for baking supplies, I had some Flour remaining from an opened packet, some castor sugar again remaining from an open packet, 100-150 gms of fennel seeds, exactly two eggs, around 75-100 ml of cream left from the Creamy pesto and gnocchi dish my friend had cooked in my house and exactly one apple in the fridge. So I did something I never do, I tweaked the recipe a little. You see despite my years of baking experience, I am a very insecure baker and a purist at heart, so I always follow recipes to the t. This cake was compelling enough for me to want to try immediately with the ingredients available on hand. The way all the ingredients came together, I believe that I was destined to bake this baby.
You can follow the original recipe in the link I gave above, or use the slightly tweaked version that I used to make it. Either ways, you will have a soft, aromatic and homey cake that will gratify all your senses when you bite in. I must warn you though that the fennel can be overpowering. If you are not a big fan of fennel, replace it with vanilla extract/essence.
Apple Fennel Cake
What you will need:
- 1.5 cups All purpose flour (I had the exact amount remaining)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4th teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
- 2 eggs
- 3/4th cups Castor sugar (I had the exact amount remaining)
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1-2 tablespoon of Curd/Plain Yogurt (it’ll sound like I am lying for drama but honest to god, this is how much i had remaining)
- 1/2 cup cherries and berries
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced small (these amounted to approximately 1.5 cups)
How I made it:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 degree C
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder,salt and ground fennel powder thrice
3. Using a hand-mixer, beat the sugar with the cream in mixing bowl
4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar and then add in the eggs and curd and mix
5. Fold in the apples and the cherries & berries. Mine sank to the bottom, so I recommend that you mix these with a tablespoon or two of flour before adding in.
6. Pour into a greased Silicon mould or spring-form pan
7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, till a knife inserted comes our clean. Mine browned a little more that it should have, but I loved the dark and glossy top and smooth texture. The fennel seeds also lent a greenish tinge to my cake.
8. Cut yourself a generous piece, find yourself a comfortable spot, put your feet up and dig in. I had mine with a book for company.
Like all other cakes, this one tastes even better after refrigeration and a couple of days have passed. This was a worthy adieu to baking.