Spiced and only lightly sweetened apple mousse sandwiched between two layers of buttery and soft sponge. This apple slice cake is so simple and yet - so delicious! Kids love the texture. Adults sneak in another small piece when nobody is watching. A little slice of comfort food!
For a good bake:
1. Use all ingredients at room temperature. You may opt to prepare apple mousse a day before and store refrigerated for up to 48 hours before baking. Just make sure this filling is at room temperature when spreading on the cake (and cooled down if prepared on the same day). For the cake - all ingredients should also be at room temperature. If you want to speed things up - place eggs in a bowl full of warm water for few minutes. Warm up milk before adding to the cake batter.
2. Apples - choose juicy/hard, semi-sweet, lightly sour type. Russet, Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady - are just few examples which will suit this bake. Also - this cake can be baked with various fruit mousse fillings. We have baked it with peaches, pears, gooseberries, plums. Your favourite thick and smooth marmalade (or povidl) will work too!
3. Filling - the mousse should be fairly thick when reduced (thick marmalade consistency). When you turn the spoon upside down it should hold to the spoon for few seconds before dropping. The timing indicated in the recipe should bring you close to that consistency. If you bake with other fruit - you will need to adjust timing/sugar depending on moisture of the fruit.
4. Cake - beat eggs until fluffy and firm. Make sure to add oil and butter in a steady/thin stream while constantly beating eggs. Adding milk at the end will ensure you get very soft, almost melt in your mouth, buttery (rather than fluffy) sponge (and yes, milk is added after flour in this recipe). Try not to over-mix the batter after adding flour and milk. The batter should have visible air bubbles. We are using mix of oil and butter here - oil will keep the cake moist for longer and butter will infuse more flavour and will help to form thicker, buttery skin on the outside.
5. Baking - you will blind bake the first layer of the cake. No need to cool it down - you will spread the mousse on hot sponge, then cover it with the remaining part of batter and bake.
6. Cool this cake in the tin first (10-15min), then remove and cool fully before decorating with confectioners’ sugar. In our view, this cake taste best after few hours, when apple mousse gets a chance to infuse sponge with flavour and spices are more prominent. Store at room temperature (covered, 18-21C) or refrigerate loosely covered.
Apple Slice Recipe
Yield: 24 servings
Time: 1hr prep + 50min baking
Tin: 23x33cm (4-5cm deep)
10 to 12 large apples (1.5-1.8kg)
Juice from 1/2 lemon (30ml)
30g salted butter (or unsalted with a pinch of salt)
1 Tbsp cornflour
3-4 Tbsps sugar (45-60g, to taste)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
300g all-purpose (plain) flour
1 and 1/2 flat tsp (5g) baking powder
6 large eggs (360g, weighed when cracked), room temperature
180g caster sugar
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
100ml oil (neutral scented, canola/sunflower), room temperature
60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
60g full-fat milk, room temperature
+ icing (confectioners’ sugar) to decorate
Prepare apples: Peel and remove cores. Grate apples and blend into smooth mousse. Don’t discard the apple juice. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix to combine. On a large frying pan/pot, melt butter and when it starts sizzling add cornflour and mix vigorously until smooth. Add blended apples, sugar and stir until combined. Let the mixture sizzle and bubble over high heat for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally), then reduce heat to medium and cook until part of juice evaporates and the mixture becomes thicker (another 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally). When done - add cinnamon and cardamom, mix to combine and remove from heat. Cool your apple mousse fully before applying on the cake.
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Brush baking tin with butter and line with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper.
Prepare cake batter: Mix flour with baking powder and sift. Set aside. In your main mixing bowl beat eggs (whisk attachment or handheld mixer) for 2 minutes until fluffy. Then start adding sugar in 3-4 turns, coarse salt and beat for 3-4 minutes until eggs triple in volume and become pale and fluffy. When ready, start adding oil in a thin stream constantly beating eggs (medium speed), then add in steady/thin stream melted and cooled butter. Add flour (all at once) and gently combine (paddle attachment or spoon, or lowest speed if using handheld mixer). Combine with few swift moves, try to keep the mixture airy. At the end, add milk and gently stir to combine. Pour half of the batter evenly into the tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180C (160C fan forced). The top should be golden and sponge baked through. Don’t switch off the oven.
Assemble: When the bottom layer is done, remove from the oven and spread apple mousse evenly on the top of the warm sponge (do it gently, no need to cool the sponge). Place the remaining part of the batter on top (pour stripe of batter across the middle - it will spread out fairly evenly, patch up corners if needed with remaining batter). Try to avoid using spoon to even out - not to over-mix the batter with apples.
Bake assembled cake at 180C (160C) for another 30 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then remove gently from the tin (ask for extra pair of hands) and let it cool fully, then sprinkle with icing (confectioners’) sugar. When cooled, you can store this cake at room temperature (covered in cake stand, 18-21C) or in the fridge (bring to room temperature before serving). For us - this cake is best after few hours, when apple mousse has a chance to infuse sponge and spices are more prominent. Enjoy!