Dr. B picked up a baking book for me recently. It was basically a big hint as he loved everything in it. It's called, Großmutters kleine Gebäcke which means "Grandmothers Small Pastries." As we were turning the pages together, we came upon these and laughed our heads off.
Amerikaner is a popular bakery treat here in Germany. It's basically the size of a black and white cookie you would find in New York but in Germany most of the time, the frosting is all white instead of half chocolate half white. We were laughing at the way they decorated these cookies. Some food stylist was definitely taking the piss out of Americans when they created this picture. I mean the cookies even look overly friendly and superficial.
OK. Maybe it wasn't that funny. Only to us. Or maybe I have been spending too much time in the kitchen and am now reading too much into baked goods.
Anyway, I want to make everything in this book. It showcases traditional baked goods and, the Amerikaner aside, has gorgeous styling and interpretations. I was looking for something to bake with our bounty of garden apples. so I turned to this book and found this Apple Dream torte with a chocolate base. I mean, with a name like that, how could I resist?
Apple Dream Torte (Apfeltraumtorte)
(From Großmutters kleine Gebäcke, Garant Verlag 2010)
For the Bottom Layer:
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup flour
- Scant half cup corn starch
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1/8 cup melted butter
- (I added 1 tablespoon of cinnamon)
For the Middle Layer:
- 1 + 3/4 cups Apple compote*
- 1+1/4 teaspoons clear gelatin
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
*See recipe below
For the Top Layer:
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1+1/4 teaspoons clear gelatin
- Cocoa powder for decoration
- Apple slices for decoration (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar and water until foamy.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, corn starch and cocoa powder. Fold into the egg mixture and mix in the melted butter.
- Line an 8 inch springform pan with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and using a spatula spread evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, remove completely from springform pan, placing bottom layer on a serving plate and fit a cake ring around the layer.
- Place both measurements of gelatin in separate small bowls and add 2 + 1/2 tablespoons of water to each.
- Place apple compote and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and mix together. Dissolve one portion of the gelatin into the apple mixture.
- Pour the apple mixture into the cake ringed bottom layer and place in the refrigerator until it's solid.
- Place the mascarpone in a bowl and beat it until it's smooth. In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream and fold the cream into the mascarpone.
- Warm the lemon juice and add it and the other portion of watered gelatin to the mascarpone/heavy cream mixture. Beat until combined.
- Remove bottom 2 layers of torte from the refrigerator. Pour the mixture on top of the two previous layers and put it back in the refrigerator.
- When the torte is solid, remove from fridge and remove the cake ring. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and if you like,decorate with apple slices.
- I used a cake stencil for the cocoa powder to get the design on top.
*Apple Compote Recipe (from my MIL)
- 3 tart apples peeled and cored (I used the Red boskoop from our garden)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Slice peeled and cored apples into 8 slices.
- Place in saucepan and cover with 3/4 inch of water.
- Add sugar
- Cook on a low setting for about 10 minutes or until apples are soft.
- Using a potato masher, break the apples up.
- When the pieces form a sauce remove from heat and mash until smooth.
- I finished them off with a hand mixer to smooth out leftover pieces.