Thursday, December 9, 2010

Italian Apple Cake

Anyone who has ever been to my house knows that more often then not an unknown or new face will pop up out of nowhere. It started six years ago and continues to this day, my home has become a bed and breakfast of sorts or the 'European Youth (not so youthful) Hostel' as my friends so eloquently refer to it. Some guests are here for just a few days, many return, others stay for months at a time and on the rare occasion, some are so deeply despised that just the utterance of their name can make me shudder. Regardless of the circumstance, it is fair to say that in my house you are more likely to find a face you don't recognize than one you do. This can be nice in moments of solitude, providing the unique comfort that only a conversation with a stranger can offer; a void filled, even if just for a moment. The guests can also be a cumbersome pain, like when they don't pick up on the fact that you may like to have coffee in quiet in the morning and no, you don't feel like talking. Disconcerting at times, the constant flow of strangers does create one unique opportunity, a reason to cook.
Dorie Greenspan Apple Cake
The other day, while working on a batch of granola for a few of my die-hard granola fans (yes, they exist and I love them), I discovered that an Italian guest would be arriving only a few days later. There are a lot of things I like about Italians, they tend to be good looking, they have lovely accents, and most importantly, they eat cake for breakfast. We also eat cake for breakfast, I suppose, but we like to name it something more 'acceptable' like muffin or loaf. Not my Italian brethren though. Nope, they take last night's dessert put it on the table in the morning and call that breakfast. Right on. Since my granola had already been allocated, I figured I had no choice but to make this guest a breakfast cake.
Dorie Greenspan Apple Cake
I have been wanting to make a cake like this one since I ate for breakfast when I was living in Italy. My favorite part? The very high fruit to batter ratio, the apples are the stars and the batter merely there to bind the thing together. It's lightly sweetened and delicate, verging almost more on a pudding than on a cake. It's everything I look for in a sweet, at any time of day.