Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cream cheese apple cake - the most tender cake I've ever seen + another great movie

Cream cheese apple cake / Bolo de maçã e cream cheese

My good movie wave continues and apparently it is in full bloom: I watched the fantastic "Animal Kingdom" a few days ago and I’m still stunned by it.
I first read about “Animal Kingdom” at my source for all things cinema, and could not wait to watch it - as it usually happens to many great films, it took the movie forever to arrive here and it went straight to DVD. But it was worth the wait: a great script, beautifully directed and with equally wonderful performances. Guy Pierce, one of my favorite actors, was the only name I recognized from the cast, and I remembered Jackie Weaver from the Oscars, but that was it: the director was completely new to me, and he’s also responsible for the script.

* spoilers *

I might not be familiar with the cast, but everyone impressed me in a great way: James Frecheville could not ask for a more powerful debut – he perfectly nails J., dealing well with the way his character starts the movie and the curve ahead of him (not to mention the poetic ending); he’s sublime in the scene in the bathroom at his girlfriend’s house. Ben Mendelsohn’s character, who at first to me looked like a crying baby desperate for attention, asking everyone to talk to him, slowly shows why he’s the leader of the pack – he’s pure evil and also seems to be the only one not gravitating around the mother, who is brilliantly portrayed by Weaver; minutes into the film I kept waiting for the Best Supporting Actress Nominee performance to show – see, I love Judi Dench but I don’t buy that 8-minute-performance-Oscar-thing, so I wanted more from Weaver and when I started doubting her she smashingly brought it: her character looks both angelical and devilish, motherly and incestuous at the same time – just divine. Later on I learned that David Michôd had written the part especially for her – wise man. And that same wise man directs this great movie beautifully, putting his own ideas and words into action, moving the camera around at different speeds and getting the most amazing effects with slow motion (something Zack Snyder completely ruined in “Sucker Punch”, it drove me crazy and made me hate the movie), combined with a subtle yet efficient music that reminded me of the music in “The Insider”.
“Animal Kingdom” is an excellent movie, one I would love to have at home to watch it over and over again.

* end of spoilers *

The idea of mixing butter and cream cheese in a cake batter not only seems genius – it IS. This is the most tender cake I have ever seen, made or eaten and I believe that the recipe can be made in several ways: forgoing the apples for berries or chocolate chips or simply omitting them and turning the cake into a citrus treat by replacing the cinnamon with zest; just a couple of ideas I think you would like. :)

Cream cheese apple cake
adapted from the delicious and great The Grand Central Baking Book

2 ¼ cups (315g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g (9oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons (375g) granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500g Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced into 1cm (½in) chunks
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a bowl.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very light in color – almost white – and the texture is fluffy, about 8 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once or twice during the process to ensure that the butter is evenly incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients; stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated. Fold the apples in by hand using a stiff spatula, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes over a wire rack, then carefully unmold onto the rack.
Cool completely, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Serves 10-12

14 comments:

vanillasugarblog said...

that my dear is one might tasty sounding cake.
i MUST make this!

susan said...

I have been seeing so many movies lately, in the theatres, mainly because it has been unseasonably hot in L.A. and I just want to escape, and cool off. When it comes out, don't miss Moonrise Kingdom, Ruby Sparks, or The Intouchables (clearly, the best movie, ever!). Your cake looks rich, moist, and delicious. Love the photos, Patricia!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

If this is the most tender cake ever, then I certainly have to try it! :)

Cupcake and Talk said...

This cake sounds delicious. I can only imagine what it tastes like. I'll have to make it.

Russell van Kraayenburg said...

Yummy! What a cake! I am loving this recipe.

Jess @ Bakericious said...

I am starting to like apples in my cake, this really looks good.

Deb said...

Apples have just started to appear at the Farmer's Market. What a splendid cake to begin the season of fall baking!

Yummy Bakes said...

What a fabulous cake you have here.

Pasu said...

I just eat a piece of cake! It's Wonderful!! Thanks for all your recipes and congratulations for the blog!

Mutfak Havlusu said...

i liked
if winter is time we can eat apple pie everytime also i like winter time but with pie so cute:-)
it is seeming nice

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pasu, thank YOU for letting me know how the recipe turned out! I'm so glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Dear Patricia!! Good health, happiness and love for you and your family!
This is the first cake chosen for the New Year ! Believe me not easy choice from your marvelous/huge list! The cake turned out fantastic! As you said very tender! I like this moist texture the apples create. I increased a bit the quantity of cinnamon and added a pinch of carnation.. fairy tale smell! Congratulations once more Patricia!xxx Evi

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Dear Patricia!! Good health, happiness and love for you and your family!
This is the first cake chosen for the New Year ! Believe me not easy choice from your marvelous/huge list! The cake turned out fantastic! As you said very tender! I like this moist texture the apples create. I increased a bit the quantity of cinnamon and added a pinch of carnation.. fairy tale smell! Congratulations once more Patricia!xxx Evi

Patricia Scarpin said...

Dear Evi, happy New Year to you, too!
I am so glad to hear the cake was such a hit, thank YOU for letting me know. What an honor to have a recipe from the blog made by you to kick off the new year! <3
xoxo

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