A traditional apple cake from Poland, the Szarlotka (pronounced Shar-lotka) is one of the puffiest and most unique apple-cakes in the world.
Owing its name to Alexandra Feodorovna Empress of Russia (was born as Princess Charlotte of Prussia), this apple cake was created by Frenchman Marie-Antoine Carême - one of the earliest pioneers of the Grande Cuisine (cuisine of high level which involved not only new techniques and recipes but a different approach to culinary).
The main difference between this apple cake to others is in its structure - the cover is made of frozen dough shavings that create a puffed texture.
Here is a great recipe for this delicious dish:
Preparing time: 2 hours
Baking form size: 30X20X6 cm
• 400 gram white flour
• 16 gram baking powder
• 200 gram cold unsalted butter, diced
• 200 gram caster sugar
• 4 egg yolks
• 60 ml cream
• 1 tbs lemon zest (keep the lemon for the filling)
• 2-6 tbs cold water
• 8 medium sour apples (Goudrienet, Granny Smith etc.)
• 1.5 tbs lemon juice
• 225 gram of water
• 60 gram caster sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 2 tbs white flour
• Powdered sugar for topping on cake
• 50-100 ml whipped cream per person
• Cinnamon powder / Cacao powder for topping on cream
First we start with the dough - mix the flour and baking powder well, add butter, sugar and mix with your fingertips until all is crumbled. In a different bowl, mix yolks, cream and zest, add it to the other mixture and stir until a the dough is uniform. If too dry, add some water. Half the dough in two, the first part roll into a cylinder shape (around 5-6 cm in diameter), wrap it in plastic and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour. round the rest of the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge (minimum 30 minutes).
Then we continue with the filling - skin, core and thinly slice the apples, put in a cooking pan and add the lemon juice, water and sugar, turn on the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all apples are soft. Take off the heat and add the vanilla, cinnamon and flour, mix thoroughly and leave to cool off.
Turn on the oven to 180C, butter the baking form, take out the dough ball from the fridge, roll it so it will cover the bottom and walls of the baking form, prick the dough with a fork and bake it for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Take out to cool down.
Pour the apple mix on the baked dough in the baking form, take out the frozen dough and shave it (using a coarse cheese grinder) over the apple mix, creating a balanced layer. Put in the middle part of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until topping is golden. Cool down for 30 minutes before dusting with powder sugar, for best results - cool down in the fridge for 1 day (richer flavors and a firmer texture). Serve with whipped cream topped with cinnamon or cacao powder.
Wishing everyone a cozy Autumn with lots of tastes and stories around the table.
by: Amit Rabin