Florentine, wow. It is such a beautiful book. The cover is stunning and the photos inside transport you to the streets of Florence, Italy. Emiko has some snaps of the inside of the book on her site, so beautiful. It made me want to max out my credit card and buy a plane ticket but instead I am just going to have to bring Florence to my little corner of the world with her beautiful recipes. There are a few I cannot wait to try, of course the Bomboloncini (donut holes) I keep going on about but also the Polpettone alla Fiorentina (Florentine meatloaf) and the Pane Toscano (tuscan bread). I have a soft spot for meatloaf so can't wait to try it and tuscan bread... who doesn't love freshly baked bread?? The smell of it straight out of the oven is mouth watering but then again so was this apple cake.
About 20 minutes after I put it in the oven we could start to smell the buttery goodness and sweet apples and it instantly made us hungry and eager for it to be finished. Still warm we had a piece with a cuppa and it was the perfect combination. The sweet apple on top and inside the cake was so delicious. I think the cake recipe would also work folding through mixed berries, its a lovely and buttery cake that isn't too sweet so works perfectly with the added fruit. It reminded me of a cake my Aunty made but poured sweetened mixed berries, heated up like a runny jam over the top when I went to visit years ago. Between four of us we managed to polish off the whole cake while drinking tea and playing rummicub late into the night.
A little tip to keep in mind, the recipe says '2 large apples' and I used 2 small to medium sized apples thinking it'd be ok but I recommend using large apples, mine could have done with more apple on the inside in some slices. And don't be too alarmed when the mix starts curdling, it did this to me when I added the eggs to the butter but I turned the speed up and it seemed to come together until I added the milk which then made it curdle even more. My eggs and milk were cold though so I don't think it would have curdled if I had warmed the milk slightly to take the chill off, same for the eggs. But as soon as I folded the flour through it all came together perfectly, no dramas.
My mum has a dream oven and it baked so much better than if I'd baked it at home, it was evenly golden on top and didn't have a half burnt side. Such a great afternoon/morning tea recipe with a cuppa or two.
Torta di Mele (apple cake)recipe from Florentine by Emiko Davies.
2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced into approx. 1cm slices
1 lemon, juice and zest
125g unsalted butter, softened
180g caster sugar
3 eggs (at room temp)
150ml milk (at room temp/lukewarm)
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 180C/360F and line a 23cm/9inch cake tin.
- Place the apple slices in a bowl with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
- Beat remaining sugar with the butter until pale and creamy, add the eggs and beat very well until you have a thick, pale mixture. Add the milk and lemon zest, then fold through the flour, baking powder and salt then half the apples slices along with all the lemon juice to combine.
- Pour into prepared tin and place the remaining apple slices all over the top of the surface, Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden and springy to the touch.
Note: As this cake isn't overly sweet, Emiko suggests brushing the top with some apricot jam for a little shine and that extra bit of sweetness as an option for those of us who love things on the sweeter side.