Maple-Apple Cakelets with Calvados-Mascarpone Cream

2/05/2011 10:22:00 PM

More cakelets from our Christmas parties!  These maple apple cakelets, are adapted from a recipe in Donna Hay's Seasons book (like the pork belly).  I don't really like the whole Donna Hay concept, mainly because of her super-duper-über stylised pictures, and the tendency for her books to be unsubstantial.  But you know what, she has some really great recipes, and they are so reliable.  I think Seasons is actually a fantastic collection of recipes - the Autumn chapter is especially mouthwatering.

Not everyone likes fruity Christmas cakes or mince pies (why, oh why?), and I thought some cinnamon-spiced apple cakelets, with their white starry blobs of icing, would be a crowd-pleasing, yet suitably seasonal dessert for a Christmas party.

The original recipe is called "cinnamon sugar-coated maple apple cakes", and is in the Autumn - Sweet chapter, if you wanted to make them yourself.  Donna bakes hers in miniature bundt tins, and coats in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  For my cakelets, I made them in mini muffin tins, and topped them with a mascarpone-calvados cream.  (Adapted, incidentally, from the mascarpone cream Nigella serves with her Venetian carrot cake).

Calvados (apple brandy) is undeniably expensive, and I wouldn't go out and buy it especially just for this cake.  But I happened to have a bottle knocking around and knew it would be perfect.  (The bottle was bought - OMG - almost exactly 5 years ago for my How to Eat project, and used in baked caramel apples, and stewed apples with cinnamon crème fraîche).

The cake is very easy to make - just a little light stirring and whisking.  In fact, the hardest thing to do is grate all the apples.

The 6 small apples stipulated in the recipe seemed like an awful lot, so I stopped grating when I got to 4 apples, as I was afraid the mixture would get soggy.  However, the dough was rather sturdy and expanded a lot in the oven, so I think it would have been fine to use all of the apples.

And here they are, all baked!  I can't remember exactly how many the recipe made, but it was a lot.  Dozens and dozens.  I baked all of these babies the night before, let them cool overnight, and iced them on the morning of the parties.
I am a pretty crap piper, but even I could manage single starry blobs of cream on each cakelet.  Well, I did need a little practice...

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  1. Ha ha Sarah, you may need a liitle work on your piping skills lol. What better excuse for yet more baking!
    I'm making apple & cinnamon muffins today- bit of a variation on a theme?

  2. That combination sounds incredibly good. Yes, calvados is SO expensive, I remember looking for some when I first got into Nigella's books and was absolutely shocked at the price.

    I wonder if Apple Schnapps would work as a sub?

    I've never been moved by Donna Hay either - her recipes and photos are so, so lovely looking but I'm so used to Nigella talking about each recipe and its meaning to her that Hay's books and magazines come across quite cold, and difficult to connect with.

  3. Loved that piping!! Hahaha... Looks good... I think I could replicate this fairly easy enough :)



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