A Squared: The Global Bakery Cookbook + Polish Apple Cake Recipe

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Global Bakery Cookbook + Polish Apple Cake Recipe

In my humble opinion, one of the best things about traveling to new parts of the world is sampling the local cuisine. Even back in college when I wasn't a particularly big foodie, I loved trying new to me foods-- or foods that I wouldn't typically order/enjoy at home-- in the different places we visited: sting ray in Paris, Döner kebab in Berlin, prawns (complete with legs and eyes!) in Venice, and a million ways to eat cabbage in Prague. What was most fun, however, was sampling the local pastries. When we traveled, my friends and I usually tried to find a local bakery for breakfast or a snack because everything was so different-- country to country and even city to city-- but it was always delicious. It could also explain my Study Abroad 10 (not quite the Freshman 15, but dangerously close).


I recently received a complimentary copy of The Global Bakery and it took my right back to this place-- the excitement of trying new food from interesting places and this cookbook really captures it. In The Global Bakery, author and baker Anna Weston highlights traditional baking recipes from around the globe in a way that is easy and approachable enough for even an amateur baker to tackle. When the book arrived I had so much fun leafing through it and a very difficult time deciding which recipe to try first. Some of the top contenders for me were the chocolate mousse cake (a nod to my Hungarian roots), lime cake from West Africa (Alex's pick), or Jamaican ginger cake with lemon glace icing.



Ultimately though, I decided to make something that felt a bit more fall-like (since it's been so chilly) and tried the recipe for Jablecznik, a Polish apple cake. This simple cake is dense and delicious and not overly sweet. It was super easy to make and the most time consuming part of the prep was peeling the apples and then arranging them in a pretty way on top of the cake. I loved the cake because it really reminded me of the apfelkuchen (German apple cake) that my Oma used to make. I didn't know if Alex would enjoy the cake since he's got a major sweet tooth and this is not a sugary sweet cake, but he totally surprised me. My original intention was to send him to work with several slices to share with his coworkers, but he liked it so much that he kept it all at home and ate it for breakfast (and dessert) all week. If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Global Bakery and bring some global inspiration into your kitchen. And in the meantime, give this Jablecznik recipe a try!

  
Jablecznik (Polish Apple Cake)

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup and 1 Tbs. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 oz. butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk *I used 2%
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves

Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Heat oven to 355 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Add the softened butter, milk, and eggs and beat well until creamy.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, then layer on half of the sliced apples.

Keep about half a cup of batter back, then spoon the remaining batter over the apples, covering them completely.

Arrange the remaining slices on top and dot the reserved half cup of batter over the apples.

In a bowl, rub in 1/4 cup sugar, cloves, and cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the mixture in the cake pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle it with remaining 1 Tbs. sugar while it is still hot.

Leave in the pan for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices from the cooked apple to soak into the cake.

Cut into squares.


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