Gateau Breton aux Pommes w/ Beurre Salé
The title translates to "Apple Cake from Brittany w/ Salted Caramel", for all of you non-Francophiles!
Let's talk apple cake.
I love them. My absolute favorite is an apple dessert during the chilly months (carrot cake is up there too).
Now is the time when apples are delicious in my neck of the woods (I don't live near woods, by the way).
You have everything in the house, so make this cake.
Some apple varieties have a long shelf life and stay in your vegetable crisper for a few weeks without any softness or mushy overripe effects. I like to keep apples in the fridge all season long, so I have them handy for these type of cakes.
I hesitate to tell you about another great cake, but listen up. This cake is AH-MAZING.
You know I usually skip the icing, frosting, sauce, accoutrements, who needs the extra calories? However, DO NOT SKIP THE SALTED CARAMEL.
It takes this cake to a whole new level.
This is from the October issue of Bon Appetit, from a blogger's site Manger (pronounced "mahn-zhay", meaning "to eat" in French). Her website is a gorgeous feast for the eyes.
Mimi is gorgeous, all photos are professional, her kids look like models, her French home is stupid beautiful, as are all her recipes, linens, china, floral arrangements. Even her terriers are freakin' models, blah blah blah (do I seem jealous?).
She should hook up with Gwynnie, but I think Gwynnie speaks Spanish, not French. Too bad.
Really, who wears an Armani dress with Hunter rain boots to pick blackberries? (I would like to!).
Her recipes in this month's magazine look excellent, and I started with this simple cake from Brittany.
Yes, there is a lot of butter in this cake, more than I like to use. In fact, it's mostly butter, sugar and apples.
Make it for company, because if it's just you and the cake, the cake will win, trust me.
Most traditional Gateau Breton is made with the caramel sauce on top, then decorated with a fork to make a nice design, however, this recipe serves the sauce on the side along w/ creme fraiche.
Gateau Breton aux Pommes avec Beurre Salé (adapted from Bon Appetit):
For the cake:
10 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled, plus 2 tbsp for the apples (12 tbsp total....yikes!)
1 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt (not regular table salt)
1 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
zest of a lemon
4 firm apples (I mixed varieties), peeled, cored and thickly sliced
Butter and flour an 8" cake pan (I used my springform, of course).
Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, lemon zest, salt, sugar and 10 tbsp. of melted butter.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter.
In a heavy medium skillet, heat the 2 tbsp of butter and add in the apple slices. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of sugar and cook for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat until the apples are juicy and caramelized. Keep stirring, so the apples don't stick.
Lay half the cooked apples on the bottom of the prepared cake pan and spoon half the batter over them. Don't worry if the batter doesn't seem to cover the apples.
Layer with the rest of the apples, then the rest of the batter. It's easiest if you have a rubber spatula to spread the batter.
I sprinkled my cake with cinnamon sugar just in case I didn't want the salted caramel (which I DID!).
Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35-40 minutes (the recipe calls for a bit longer baking time, but my oven runs hot).
Salted Caramel (beurre salé):
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp butter (yes, MORE butter!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt (not regular salt)
In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the water and sugar on medium boil until turning golden, 8-10 minutes.
You can scrape the brown bits on the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush.
Take the golden liquid off the heat and carefully add in the cream, it will bubble and boil, so be careful not to splatter yourself.
Place back on the stove and stir for 2 minutes.
Add in 3 tbsp butter and salt and cook another minute or two until the butter and mixture is nice and smooth.
Transfer to a heat resistant vessel, and place in the fridge to cool. You can make the caramel sauce 5 days in advance.
We ate this cake 30 minutes out of the oven with the warm beurre salé, as well as room temperature the next a.m.
Can be made one day ahead and wrapped well.
One of the best apple cakes I have ever made. Bon Appetit!