It would probably sound too pretentious if we said this cake was born out of necessity but, to a certain extent, it’s true. I think I’ve mentioned before that Mummy has got a compulsive habit of reading the use by date on all goods in our fridge, so everything must be used within a reasonable timeframe.
I think this must be just another one of those traits that makes humans such strange creatures. I, for one, would be very interested in finding out what happens to all the ingredients after the use by date – do they change colour, shape, size? Do they turn into a big monster? Oh, that would be scary, but nothing that a big bite wouldn’t be able to solve, right? Well, I guess I’ll never find out, because Mummy is always very diligent in identifying anything that is approaching the dreaded use by date and disposing of it well before any evil transformation can take place. Mastering the art of quick label reading takes quite a lot of practice, and in our case Mummy practices every day. Every time we open the fridge, instead of following my example and using those few precious moments to take a quick sample of all the wonderful goodies stashed there (such as a big beakful of crunchy broccoli, or green beans, or strawberries), she quickly scans the jars and bottles, no doubt making a mental note of what must be used when.
In this case, the two ingredients in dire need of salvation from premature disposal were half a jar of sour cream and half a jar of mascarpone, left over from our chilli, bean and vegetable soup and Mummy’s birthday cake, respectively. Now, the two don’t have a great deal in common, except for their dairy origin, but wonderful things can happen if you’re willing to experiment
So Mummy remembered that her grandmother used to bake a rather delicious cake with sour cream instead of butter. The good thing about baking with cream is that cakes will have a wonderfully soft and moist texture which stays that way for a few days. We didn’t have grandma’s exact recipe, so we had to guess the ingredients and ratios, but we were quite satisfied with the end result. If you’re a fan of moist cakes, this is definitely one to try. Using raw apple pieces here meant that all the juice released during baking was contained within the cake, giving it a pudding-like type of consistency – we were therefore quite unsure whether to call this a cake or a pudding, and finally decided in favour of the latter version. The apple, lemon and vanilla flavours combine very well also, which ensured that this cake/pudding got high ratings from the Bistro chief taster, Daddy.
Sour Cream Apple and Lemon Pudding
250 g flour
125 g sugar
125 g sour cream
125 g mascarpone (if you don’t have any, you could use 250 g of sour cream instead of the sour cream/mascarpone combination)
Juice and grated zest of one large lemon
2 large or 3 medium apples, cores and diced (we used Fuji)
1/2 cup shelled walnut halves
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a 22 cm round (spring-form) tin and line the base with baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
Mix the eggs, sugar, lemon zest in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add the sour cream and mascarpone and continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated. Pour in the lemon juice and mix for a few more moments.
Gently fold in the flour and baking powder and mix lightly with a wooden spoon.
Incorporate about 2/3 of the diced apple – the mixture will look very rough and chunky.
Pour into the prepared tin, then top with remaining pieces of apple. Arrange the walnut pieces in the gaps between the apple pieces, then bake for approximately 55 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil or baking paper about half way through the baking time.
Leave to rest in the tin for approximately 10 minutes, then remove from tin and place on a rack. It is best to wait until the cake has completely cooled before cutting it.