Our students are enjoying their breaks between English classes!
This week we had a double Foodie Friday! Sabine, from Germany, made us a gorgeous apfelkuchen (German apple cake) and Marisol, from Mexico, made us a lovely flan.
As you can see they both turned out amazing! If you would like to recreate this yourself, follow the recipe instructions below. Happy baking!
‘Apfelkuchen’ translates simply to apple cake. This quintessentially German recipe consists of a single layer of buttery cake topped with neat and orderly rows of sliced baking apples. Apfelkuchen descended from a long line of sweet yeast breads. According to food historians, bakers in the middle east often used fruits and nuts in their breads, cakes, pastries, and biscuits. This tradition was also practiced by the Ancient Romans, who are credited for spreading fruits (apples) and recipes throughout Europe.
- 2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 125g/4½oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 140g/5oz golden caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tbsp full-fat milk
For the topping:
- 1½ tbsp demerara sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Butter and line a 23cm/9in round cake tin.
- Coat the apple wedges in the lemon juice and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar, using an electric hand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Slowly add the milk, mixing well after each addition, until you have a smooth batter.
- Transfer the batter to the cake tin. Arrange the apple slices, flat-side down, on the batter in a spiral pattern.
- For the topping, mix together the demerara sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 40–45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and the top is golden-brown. Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and turn it out of the tin onto a wire rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.
Mexican Creme Caramel Flan
The origin of flan can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. The mixture of cream and eggs to make a flat custard cake was then called “flado.” In the beginning, flan was made as a savory treat, usually flavored with fish or meat. However, it eventually took the Roman Empire by storm when a sweeter version flavored with honey was created.
- 200g caster sugar
- 250ml full fat milk
- 1 (397g) tin sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 250ml double cream
- Place sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and turns a golden amber colour, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully once syrup begins to change colour, because it burns easily. Carefully pour the melted sugar syrup into a flan tin. Let cool.
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
- Pour full fat milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract and cornflour into a liquidiser and blend for a minute or so, until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the cream and pulse several times to incorporate the cream. Pour the mixture over the cooled caramel syrup in the flan tin.
- Line a roasting tin with a damp tea towel. Place the flan tin on the towel, inside roasting tin and place roasting tin in the middle shelf of the oven. Fill roasting tin with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the flan tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the centre of the flan is set but still slightly wobbly when moved, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let the flan cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. To serve, run a sharp paring knife around the inside of the tin to release the flan. Invert a plate on the flan tin, flip the tin over and gently remove the tin to unmold the flan and reveal the syrupy caramel topping.