Second time success: apple-cinnamon Swiss roll

img_20200705_121658_4It’s July already! Where has this year gone? Four months working from home, I thought I’d be baking and watching box sets and finally trying Yoga With Adrienne.  No, it’s actually been really busy workwise, in  a good way, with lots of weekend projects in the flat after 4 years away. Italy is doing pretty well now contagion-wise, but we wear masks when we go outside and are generally careful. However, it’s been really nice to see a few friends now and then, with the occasional dinner – open windows, lots of fresh air, no touching.

I even took the metro last week, to collect a long-awaited ID card. Hardly anyone there, and clear signage on blocked seats where it is forbidden to sit, to maintain distance. More borders are opening in Europe, but we have no international travel planned. A long warm Roman summer will be fine – and after Accra, it is not that hot!

Rome

Back to the cake. I started this cake a few days ago, when friends came over for a socially distanced pizza dinner. Some sad apples were malingering in the fridge, but any apple cake that requires an hour in the oven is clearly not going to happen when it’s 33C in a Roman July. But a Swiss roll with homemade applesauce, 5 minutes of baking while the oven was heating anyway for pizza… perfect! Unless you fold laundry in those critical five minutes and come back just a little too late, to find the cake burned beyond redemption.. Oh well – the guests had cold watermelon for dessert, and better luck next time. Sad waste of food, though. This time I paid better attention.

Apple-cinnamon Swiss roll, second attempt
3 eggs
130 grammes of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
115 grammes all-purpose flour

Filling:
300 ml applesauce
2 tsp or so of cinnamon

I made the applesauce by peeling and coring 4 medium apples, dicing the apples and cooking them with 100 ml water until soft enough to mash with a potato masher. No added sugar.

Heat oven to 250C. Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper. Prepare a clean cotton kitchen towel with a little sugar sprinkled on. Whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in baking powder and flour with a spatula. Spread this out evenly on the baking paper, and bake in middle of the oven for five minutes, until golden brown. Watch the cake, it is very thin and can easily burn.

When cake is lightly golden, turn it onto the kitchen towel upside down, and peel off the baking paper. While cake is still warm, spread on apple sauce and sprinkle on a little cinnamon, or jam of your choice. Then roll the cake together from the longest side, using the towel to lift the cake evenly so it does not crack. (If it does crack, it will still be delicious.)

 

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Here, I rolled from the long horizontal edge. Cool before slicing.

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Lots left for the next few days. Maybe I’ll make another with peaches and apricots, I bought too many and do not want to waste any.

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Hope you all are safe and can enjoy a little summer too. Have a nice weekend.

 

 

A new Norwegian apple cake

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Today was lunch with friends,  and I had offered to bring something sweet. There were a couple apples lingering in the veg drawer, so time to make an apple cake while the electrician finally installed the kitchen extractor fan, after three months of waiting.  I looked up “eplekake 2 egg” for ideas and this one popped up: a thin quick apple cake, with butter shaved on top of batter. Interesting! The kitchen extractor fan was installed, but without working lights, so they uninstalled it. Maybe next week…

Here we go, adapted and translated from Eplekake raskt og enkelt which looks lovely.

A new Norwegian apple cake

3 medium eggs
200 grammes white sugar
150 grammes plain white wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 apples (tart ones better)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs sugar

shave over: 50–70 grammes cold butter

Whisk eggs and sugar until light and slightly firm. Carefully sift in flour and baking powder. Peel the apples and cut them into thin apple slices. Toss apple slices in a bowl with cinnamon and sugar. Heat oven to 200C.

Pour batter into a 24cm round cake tin (base lined with parchment). Arrange the apple slices in the batter (I put them in pointing to center, an external ring and leftover bits in centre).

Right before baking: With a cheese slicer or knife, shave the cold butter over and top with the last sugar. Bake at 200C lower half of oven for 30 minutes or so. Serve lukewarm with icecream for whipped cream.

Note: the article says the cake does not keep well, as there is no butter in dough but that it freezes well and thaws quickly. It was like an upside down pineapple cake in consistency, light and taller than expected. Maybe a bit less sugar next time. We had it with watermelon, then with some icecream, and most of the cake vanished.

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Eaten at lovely lunch at a friend’s house, seven people from six different countries.

Goats, and apple crumble with butterscotch chips

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The neighborhood goats are still doing well. I met them the other day, snacking on this palm branch. It is the end of the rainy season, not too hot yet but it is getting hotter. The goats forage and roam, and go home at the end of the day. Small, but glossy coats and they look healthy.  Quiet weekend here, after heavy rain Friday and the gas explosion here in Accra last night, very sad. At least seven killed, according to the news so far.
Time to make a rather deconstructed crumble, due to some vintage apples in the  bottom of the fridge, and the goal to use up the last butterscotch chips bought in New York last year.  Maybe not a very British crumble, but it was good.
Apple crumble with butterscotch chips
4 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs honey  (as I was out of brown sugar and low on butter….)
1 tbs butter
1 tbs water
Heat oven to 180C. Layer the apples in a Pyrex dish, with the cinnamon sprinkled over. Mix all the other ingredients, it will be damp and crumbly. Scatter in a thin layer over apples. Bake 30 minutes, the apple juices will bubble through and the top will be slightly golden. Serve warm with icecream or vanilla custard. Very nice cold next day.
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And here are the goats, heading home. Up in Tamale my friends were petrified of hitting a pregnant goat in traffic, that can be very expensive. Our neighborhood is relatively safe in that respect, traffic is never very fast. I thus have time to see the local peacock, who morosely sits high on a compound wall nearby each morning, looking at the road, barred from going further by the electric wire.
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Time to make dinner: tonight, Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for aubergine, black-eyed bean and dill curry  which looks both interesting and delicious.