Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Oct 11, 2011

Ginger Apple Torte

Libations used: 3 Tbs dark rum
Libations left over: none
I have a tendency to show up at parties, get-togethers...your house...with baked goods or ingredients for a cocktail.  Well, this past weekend was no exception.  A friend was moving to Germany and we all gathered at Will Rogers Park in the Pacific Palisades for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Match.  We donned our fancy dresses, hats and polo shirts and drank plenty of champagne as we lolled in the sun.  With so much champers flowing, I knew we would need something to soak up all that alcohol, so this Ginger Apple Torte from Food52 would do the trick.  Yes, there's rum in it, but not much and the baking burns off the alcohol content.

I had spent the previous day wandering through apple orchards in Oak Glen and so I used a combination of Mutsu and Braeburn apples I had selected from Snowline Orchard.  My momma taught me that you should always use multiple kinds of apples when baking to give depth of flavor.  All of the spices and fresh ginger makes this the perfect torte for the fall.  The turbinado sugar and walnut topping meant I didn't have to worry about frosting or glaze melting in the sun and getting on anyone's pretty frock.  After we spent the halftime filling in divots, this torte went as fast as those horses.
Ginger Apple Torte - normally serves 6-8, but I cut into smaller pieces to serve 14-16 people
  • 4 medium apples (I used Mutsu and Braeburn, which are great for eating and baking)
  • 4 Tbs turbinado sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus 2 Tbs for cooking the apples
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tbs molasses
  • 3 Tbs dark rum (aka pirate rum to the Lush Chef)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Walnut halves or pieces to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 9" cake or springform pan.
- Core and peel apples and cut into thin slices.
- Melt 2 Tbs butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until it is lightly browned.
- Toss in the apple slices and 2 Tbs turbinado sugar and stir so apples are evenly coated.  Sauté until apples are softened and most of the juices have evaporated.  Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt.  Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until it's fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Beat in the lemon zest, ginger, molasses, rum and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the flour mixture a little at a time until the batter is thick and smooth.
- Fold in the milk and yogurt till batter is smooth.
- Put half the batter in your pan.
- Cover with the apple slices and spread the other half of the batter over the slices.
- Smooth the top and garnish with walnut halves and turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve plain or with some vanilla ice cream or cinnamon-spiced whip cream.


lynn said...

i love oak glen! sadly i don't think we will make it there this season for picking...