Friday, September 02, 2022

BURNT SUGAR VEGAN CHOCOLATE APPLE CAKE

I love apple cakes. I could try to phase it a bit less pompously, but that is the truth; I simply love apple cakes. It really does not matter if they are in the batter or in the filling, like here, apples give a wonderful flavour and texture to any dessert.
Here, they are cooked until tender and soft, turned into a gorgeous pudding, and then layered with biscuits dipped in burnt sugar syrup. A delightful late summer treat, effortless to make, and absolutely wonderful to enjoy.
You can use any apple you love to eat, but I do have to say that sweeter apples are a much better choice for this cake. Tarter apples will work just fine, but there might be that tanginess that comes through in the filling, as well as some of the crispness they have. Sweeter cooking apples cook down more easily, and turn into a gorgeous fragrant filling.
Serve it in generous slices, with strong coffee.


Ingredients
For the apple filling
500 grams sweet apples; peeled, cored, and grated
100 grams granulated sugar
80 grams cornflour
100 millilitres cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
50 grams vegan block butter, diced
50 grams dark chocolate (75%)
For the biscuit base
300 grams vegan petit beurre biscuits (27 pieces)
50 grams granulated sugar
100 millilitres water
For serving
100 millilitres plant double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
chopped walnuts, optional


Preparation
Grate the cleaned apples directly into a heavy-bottomed pot, to save any liquid they release, add in the sugar, place the pot over medium-high heat, and let it come to a boil. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the cold water, sifted cornflour, and vanilla, and reserve. Once the apples come to a gentle boil, cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to thicken up, and then pour in the cornflour mixture.
Stirring vigorously and constantly, cook the apple pudding until it thickens, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and add in the butter. Mix with a wooden spoon until it blends into the pudding, and then divide it into two parts. Add the dark chocolate to one of them, and mix until melted and blended. Set both fillings aside for a moment.


To make the dipping solution for the biscuits, pour the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and shake it gently, so the sugar distributes evenly. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat, and let the sugar melt, and then start to cook. Without disturbing the sugar too much, let it cook for about 7-8 minutes, until it becomes a deep amber colour. Carefully pour in the water, mix gently, and then return to heat. Let it bubble away until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let it cool down to lukewarm. Once ready, pour it into a wide, shallow dish.
To assemble the cake, line a small rectangular cake tin (18x18 cm), with cling film or baking parchment, for easier serving of the cake.
Divide the biscuits into three equal parts, making sure each layer of them fits snuggly into the pan. Dip each biscuit of the first layer into the burnt sugar syrup, then line the bottom of the tin. Spread the vanilla filling evenly on top of that layer.
Dip the next batch of biscuits into the syrup, and lay them on the filling. Spread the chocolate filling on top, and arrange the remaining biscuits dipped in the syrup. Cover the top of the cake with cling film or a piece of baking parchment, and place the pan into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. When ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form, and spread it all over the top of the cake. Decorate further as desired, and serve. Yields 9 servings.

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