Apple Cake – Bretagne Inspired

Apple Cake – Bretagne Inspired (image©2022annivymale)

I have been fortunate in life to travel to France a few times but I’ve yet to visit Bretagne (Britanny). This region is the largest French peninsula boasting a coastine with hills and rocky cliffs; bordered by the waters of the English Channel, Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay.

I find that if I cannot travel to a certain place, I visit it through regional specialties that I can make at home. Recently I stumbled on an apple cake recipe called “Quatre-Quarts” (four quarters) which is a simple pound cake made in Bretange. Today was a very cold, windy January day at home and I couldn’t help dream of a cosy Bretagne cottage, made of stone and wood with blue shutters, overlooking the Atlantic. I could picture myself there drinking warm cider and eating slices of this delicious cake. The recipe that follows is my adaptation of the traditional recipe.

Apple Cake – Bretagne Inspired

For the cake: 3 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 and 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt.

For the apples: 2 honey crisp apples peeled and diced, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, a pinch of salt.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then butter a loaf pan, line with parchment paper.

Prepare the apples: in a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon sugar, add the diced apples and sautée until tender but still firm. Leave to cool.

Prepare the cake batter: in a stand-mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, melted butter, vanilla and pinch of salt for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda then incorporate into the egg batter, one tablespoon at a time. When the batter is smooth, remove from the stand-mixer, then gently fold in the sautéed apples. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for approx. 55 minutes (test by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, then the cake is ready). Serve warm, day-dreaming of Bretagne of course!

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