Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wrong Season: Venetian Apple Cake



Am I in the wrong season?
Is it wrong to make an apple cake when it isn't fall?
Will the dessert police arrest me and put me in jail?

Peach cobblers ONLY in August! Apple crisps ONLY in October! Blueberry muffins ONLY in June.

These seem to be the rules of baking in New Jersey, and it only makes sense to use ingredients that are in season in your area.

But apples are always in the markets, and Granny Smith green apples seem to be seasonless (I am justifying my reasons).

So, that is the reason for baking Gina DePalma's Venetian Apple Cake in May.
I couldn't wait until October to make it.

This cake was excellent. I loved the honey and spices and the grated apple added to the batter, and oh, that polenta!
I took liberties and added the fan of apples to the top to make it look attractive, and it did!

Venetian Apple Cake: (adapted from Dolce Italiano)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup instant or fine polenta (fine cornmeal works here too)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
8 tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tb extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, tapping out excess flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, polenta or cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside, along with the grated apple in its own bowl.



In a standing mixer on medium speed (I used a wooden spoon), cream the butter, olive oil, and sugar until lightened in color, one to two minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Stop the mixer, pour in honey, and resume beating on medium until mixture is smooth, about one minute. Beat in eggs one at a time until well-blended, then vanilla extract.



On low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients, the milk, and the remaining dry ingredients. Beat mixture at medium speed for about 30 seconds, then fold in the grated apple with a spatula.



Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are golden and just beginning to pull away from the pan.



Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack and let cool completely. Re-invert onto serving dish and dust with confectioners’ sugar.



Make this cake. Don't wait another 3 months! It's your kitchen.

24 comments:

Patsyk said...

Gorgeous cake! I know I have a hard time waiting to make certain things in the right season... and will do just what you did, make it when it feels good to me!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

That cake looks perfect for any season. I too buy Granny Smith any time, because they seem good all year round.

doggybloggy said...

what a moist and succulent looking cake - who cares what season it is put on some linen, wear white and bake.....

Colloquial Cook said...

I really want to make that cake. You are really becoming quite the expert baker Stace! The pics looks nice and thumbs up on the apple fan.

kat said...

I know what you mean about it being out of season. We are trying to eat more seasonally but I still crave apples so I end up buying some from Washington...bad me

Maria said...

I am up for an apple dessert any time of the year. This one looks fantastic!

Peter M said...

Luv the spices in here...you bringing this to a bake sale or somethin'?

Elra said...

It's okay Stacey, I can have apples any time of the year. Especially if the dessert/cake look this good.

Dana said...

Maybe it's because I live in Washington state, but I think apples are appropriate any time of year. Almost everyone likes an apple dessert so I make them when they are "out of season" too. This sounds and looks absolutely delicious! I am bookmarking it for the next apple adventure.

Debbie said...

Stacey, I am making that cake soon! I made an Italian apple cake years back and of course no longer have the recipe. Yours looks wonderful and I love that it uses polenta!!! I love polenta...thanks for the recipe.

Karen said...

This looks so good and rich. I like the addition of polenta or cornmeal to it. Looks pretty, too!

LaDue & Crew said...

Mmmmmm, look at that crumb! I think you're lying when you say you're not a baker~ This looks awesome!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

So nice to meet you at the Foodbuzz event last night! I am a blogger with the soul of a baker, and right now I am lusting after your Venetian Apple Cake!
It's a stunner!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That looks mouthwatering. I would never let the season get in the way of a craving.

Besides, the weather hasn't felt particularly spring-like lately. It might as well be October.

melissa said...

Justify away! Like Rachel said above me, I don't let a season get in the way of a craving either. I imagine most food bloggers don't.

Looks awesome!

Bluebird NY said...

This is a gorgeous cake, Stacey! I can't wait to make it.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Being a Californian, I wear white after Labor Day. I always run against the current. Apples in May are permissible, and this cake will make an appearance on my blog in the not-too-distant future. Looks really good, and simple.

Deb

Lori Lynn said...

You're funny Stace. Cake looks so moist! Love the fan.
LL

Lisa said...

The texture looks great. I wonder how this would be if you substituted peaches? I want to try that great looking tuna. We have several gigantic Asian grocery stores here where I can get all the ingredients.

noble pig said...

Yeah we were on the same wavelength...isn't it funny but I never tire of apple. This looks so beautiful!

Vidya said...

Awwww come on, they're apples! Apple cake is good for any season. But it is autumn here in Australia, so I guess I can make this without the "dessert police" on my trail. I actually live just a suburb or two, about a 10 minute drive away from where Granny Smith lived and first grew Granny Smith apples. There is a street festival there every October (spring here in Australia) to celebrate the apple!

Giff said...

you live so dangerously!

Culinary Cory said...

I say make what you want to make when you want to make it. I love apples so why should I wait until October to enjoy them? Your cake looks wonderful.

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