For the past couple of years I've been fortunate enough to spend New Years with some very very dear friends in Norway. They're like family, except they don't speak Vietnamese! Mornings are normally spent hitting the ski slopes of Norefjell, just behind the cabin. The rest of the day is pretty much devoted to one (or more) of the following: eating, surfing the net, reading, watching tv or just chatting.
We always eat great meals up in the mountains. There's nothing like exercise and cold weather to fuel an appetite. During that time of year way up north there's only a few hours of daylight. So when you're inside for most of the day you can't help but think , "what's next on the menu?". It also doesn't hurt that we all love to eat and are foodies in the making.
When it comes to Norwegian baking I always turn to Susanne, the family's expert. This is her recipe for eplekake, or apple cake, a traditional and popular dessert in Norway. I've heard that most every household has their own favorite recipe. The ingredients are simple and the cake is absolutely delicious. I dusted the finished cake with some icing sugar, which is a bit unconventional, but I don't think Susanne will mind. Tusen tusen takk Susanne!!
Eplekake (Norwegian Apple Cake)
adapted from Susanne HG
125 grams butter, melted
127 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Norwegian vanilla sugar or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
125 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
1 large Granny Smith apple (I like it's tartness, but you can use any variety you like)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon demerara or turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 400.
Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan (with removeable bottom) and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the vanilla sugar, flour and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, cream the melted butter and sugar with a hand mixer until very light and the sugar has dissolved. This takes about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each one. If you're using vanilla extract, add it after the eggs.
Add about half the flour mixture along with all the milk. Mix thoroughly and then add the remaining flour. Combine until no streaks of flour remain.
Spread batter in the prepared cake pan.
Core and halve the apple. Then cut each apple half in to 1/8" slices and arrange on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and demerara sugar.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and cake is thoroughly cooked by testing with a wooden toothpick.
Serve warm or at room temperature.