Kuchen Borracho – Chilean Apple Butter Cake

Chilean Apple Butter Cake

If you know me, you know I love fruits. If you know me, you know I love cake. And, if you know me, you know I hate fruits IN cake. So it was, till I baked Kuchen Borracho, a ‘drunk’ apple butter cake. Tart sweet apple soaked in sweet cream, a crumbly, soft, melting texture thanks to generous amount of butter, a twist of rum to provide a kick – together they made me realize apples are not all that bad and fruits were not meant ONLY to be eaten uncooked. Of course, the fact that butter and rum are great gifts to mankind ( who cares about nutrition values) was something I had realized long time back. So now I have a new favorite in my list of favorite cakes – this one. Seriously folks, please please please try this out. I swear to you you will never stop thanking me 🙂
The funny thing is I always thought of apple butter cake as American or French. Coming from Chile, this was a revelation. Made me wonder why did I not visit Chile while I was roaming around Peru !!! Maybe next time Santiago… However, I was close enough. This cake does have a German origin and is popular in Chile thanks to the large german (origin) population there. Now, who knew that !!!
The cake takes a little more than average effort since you have to peel, core and slice the apples thin and its almost 90-100 min baking time ( of course a longer baking time is effort only if you can’t stop wanting to eat it :D). But that apart it is easy to prepare and anybody and everybody can make it. It’s perfectly sized when baked in a 8″ (preferably springform) pan but even a 8″/9″ normal pan will do fine. I like to eat the cake (warm) as it is since it is already so delicious but for extra oomph serve it dusted with powdered sugar and/or with a couple of spoonfulls of chilled sweet cream (cream+sugar to taste) poured on top. Serves 8-10 generous portions.
This recipe comes from Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra’s book, Warm Bread and Honey Cake, as showcased on Leite’s Culinaria website. I have adapted it mildly as per preference.
For the filling
1 1/2 pounds sweet-tart apples (about 5 medium-sized apples)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream (even regular will do)
For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan (the original recipe asks for 11 tbsp (!!!!!!!) but I have changed it to 8, and even that is crazy calorific as per me. But please, do not reduce further unless you want to have a different tasting final product for which I take no credit !!! )
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons rum (you can swap this with water if you absolutely have to avoid alcohol)
5 tablespoons water
Method
1. Wash, peel and core the apples. Then cut each apple lengthwise into thin slices.

2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and cream. Add the apples & set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Butter the pan and dust with flour. Or if you are like me, use baker’s spray 🙂

4. Mix flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

5. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the  eggs to the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl to mix well. Fold in the flour in 4 batches, adding the rum and water with the third batch. Stop mixing as soon as the last batch of flour is incorporated.

6. Pour 1/3rd of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Spoon a little more than 1/3rd of the apple and cream mixture evenly over the batter, leaving a 1/2-inch plain border around the edge and smoothing the slices so they’re neat and level. I usually set the apple slices on the batter in a pattern instead of just spooning them and you can do the same too. Just takes some extra time but turns out beautifully. Put another 1/3rd of the batter on top of the apples and cream and smooth the surface, spreading the batter all over. Spoon or spread another portion (again, little more than 1/3rd) of the apple mixture evenly on top of the batter, and then top with the third and final batch of batter, smoothing it all the way to the edge of the pan. Spoon/spread the rest of the apple mixture on top of the cake and even it out.

7. Bake the cake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool completely. The cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days and in the fridge for upto 6 days.

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