Apple and Cinnamon upsidedown cake: a warm hug to (hopefully) say goodbye to winter.

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This week I was planning to post something “springy”: the sun has started to shine in Kuopio, we had a lovely week with temperatures well above the local average (+5 and more) and I thought the blog should reflect that. Then this morning I woke up, pulled the curtain to see that a thick layer of snow had covered everything, and it doesn’t look like it’s planning to stop. It’s like winter woke up all of a sudden and realised it didn’t do all the job he was supposed to or got all of a sudden a bit annoyed, felt neglected and therefore it send snow, which is now there to remind us that, after all, it is not spring yet so “don’t get too excited, there’s still at least another week of winter to enjoy”.

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So I thought my baking plans had to be turned around too. Fortunately with baking you can always find something delicious that is suited not only to any occasion but also to any season and weather condition. So I decided to dig up this scrummy upside down apple and cinnamon cake. I have recently bought a book called “The Flavour Thesaurus” (by Niki Sengit) where thousands of ingredients and flavour combinations are described and assessed. Apparently, apple and cinnamon is considered there probably the best flavour couple in the whole world of food. It is really difficult to disagree with that and this cake is the perfect example of the cosy comforting hug that apple and cinnamon can give you. Especially in a cold snowy day of late winter.

Have a good weekend!

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Questa settimana pensavo davvero di pubblicare qualcosa di primaverile: il sole ha deciso di uscire finalmente anche a Kuopio, per tutta la settimana abbiamo avuto un tempo incantevole con temperature (+5 e oltre) ampiamente sopra la media locale e pensavo che il blog dovesse riflettere questa condizione privilegiata. Sí scrivo al passato perchè questa mattina tiro le tende e mi trovo davanti uno scenario polare, con un bello strato spesso di neve che copre tutto; e non da segno di voler smettere. É come se l’inerno si fosse svegliato tutto ad un tratto e avesse realizzato di non aver fatto proprio tutto il suo lavoro. Oppure, sempre all’improviso, si fosse innervosito come se si sentisse ignorato e, di consegueza, abbia mandato la neve, che ora è qui per ricordarci che la primavera tecnicamente non è ancora cominciata e quindi, “non festeggiate troppo in fretta che avete ancora almeno una settimana di inverno da farvi”.
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Quindi anche i miei piani si sono dovuti adattare. Fortunatamente quando si tratta di dolci e pasticceria, c’è sempre qualcosa di delizioso e adatto ad ogni stagione e condizione meteorologica. Ho deciso perció di tirar fuoti dal mio archivio questa torta “sottosopra” alle mele e canella. Ho recentemente acquistato un libro intitolato “The Flavour Thesaurus” (by Niki Sengit) che elenca, descrive e analizza migliaia di accoppiamenti di ingredienti e sapori in cucina. A quanto pare, mela e cannella è universalmente considerato l’accoppiamento di sapori più azzeccato nel modo intero della gastronomia. Se sia vero, non sono io a poterlo dire con certezza, ma faccio fatica a non essere d’accordo. Questa torta è l’esempio perfetto dell’abbraccio caldo e accogliente che mela e cannella possono dare, specialmente uin una giornata fredda e nevosa di fine inverno.

Buon fine settimana a tutti !

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Recipe

5 large apples
4 tbs cinnamon
200gr sugar to make the caramel
300gr caster sugar
300gr butter
300gr flour
300gr of eggs (whole)
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 tbs vanilla paste or 1 vanilla stick
10gr crushed cardamom
A pinch of salt

First make the caramel, put the sugar in a non stick pan, cook at a high temperature until slightly caramelized. Be careful to not overcook and if anything leave it a bit undercooked as it will cook further in the oven. Once the caramel is ready pour it in the bottom of the cake tin and spread evenly. Peel the apples, cut then into quarters and coat them with the cinnamon powder. Line them apples on top of the caramel.

Heat up the oven to 220C and prepare then the cake batter. Mix flour, cardamom, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Cream the butter with the sugar to obtain a light, white and creamy mixture. Add the vanilla paste or the pods from the vanilla stick and then start adding the eggs in 2/3 batches alternating with the dry floury mix. Mix slowly and only enough to incorporate all the ingredients.

Pour the batter over the apple and caramel and bake in the oven with temperature reduced to 180C for 45/50 minutes. When ready (check with a stick or a knife that the batter is cooked), take out of the oven let it rest for a couple of minutes and turn around on a big plate.

Enjoy with home/made custard, ice cream or clotted cream, winter won’t look so bad after all!

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