I have three key phrases in my German vocabulary:
Ein Kaffee, bitte (One coffee, please)
Wo ist die Toilette? (Where is the bathroom?)
Schau, die Farben meines Lebens (Look, the colors of my life)
The first two were invaluable when we visited Germany last winter. The third…not so much. But it did incite a few chuckles from my native German friends. I guess that’s what I get for relying on “Rush Hour German” to teach me the basics a week before my trip.
So, in typical fashion, I left the talking to my fluent husband and stuck to sightseeing and eating. And oohing and ahhing over fancy German pastries. Naturally.
This apple cake was one of the beauties I saw in a bakery storefront in Berlin. And trust me, it’s beyond incredible. It’s every bit as good as it looks. It’s very popular throughout Eastern Europe, but it took me a while to track down a recipe once I got back to the U.S. Thanks to the hubby and my mad detective skills, I put the German words for “apple” and “cake” together, did a couple Google searches, and success!
And because of my cake obsession, I now have a fourth phrase in my German vocabulary:
Ich liebe Apfelkuchen! (I love apple cake!)
But don’t take my word for it. Make one of your own, and I promise you’ll be saying Ich liebe Apfelkuchen soon enough. And not only will you have a tasty cake to share, but you can look incredibly smart when you teach your dinner guests a very useful German phrase. Major props to you.
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours
6 apples (I used McIntosh apples)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.