Friday, 8 September 2017
My Mum comes to stay with us every summer, for a month, and I'm always looking forward to seeing her. We talk on the phone every day, but that's not the same. We live so far away from each other, and I miss her company.
She was planning to arrive by the end of August, and I was counting days until I could hug and squeeze her. Then a few days before she was supposed to travel I had an email from a friend who told me that Mum was in the hospital. She was so poorly, she needed a blood transfusion. The trip was cancelled, and postponed until Mum is well enough, and her doctors tell her she can travel.
Until the school started three days ago, my sons kept me on my tiptoes. And today, while they were at school, I felt so miserable and sad really. Who knows, if Mum and I would be able to see each other this year.
Feeling rather lonely on my own at home and slightly sorry for myself, I decided to bake an apple cake Sharlotka, which is a total blast from the past.
I think this is probably the first cake I've learnt to bake, and most Russian teenagers can make it even in their sleep. Or at least they used to, when I was young, cannot say about the new generations, for all I know they go for something more modern and jazzy like quinoa chia seed energy balls with goji berries and hemp.
As this cake uses the most basic ingredients, which you might have at home at any given time, you can bake it whenever you fancy a cup of tea with a slice of warm cake.
You can eat it warm or cold.
You will need tart cooking apples. If using dessert apples, reduce the amount of sugar.
I just went in the garden and brought a few apples in (photo taken on a sunny day).
In the past I would just measure a mug of sugar and a mug of flour, but as mugs vary, I post here a recipe with weighed ingredients.
I don't know who the original Sharlotta (Charlotte) was, after whom this cake is named.
You will need
2-3 big tart apples, peeled and sliced
a squeeze of lemon
3 medium eggs
180g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp soured cream
butter, for the tin
Peel and core apples, and cut into thin slices. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice over apple slices.
In a big mixing bowl beat the eggs with the sugar. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, mix together, add a bit of soured cream (or plain yogurt) and mix well. The cake batter has quite a thick consistency. Add the sliced apples and mix again.
Butter the spring cake tin, and the circle of parchment paper at the bottom of the tin.
Place the tin in the oven preheated to 180C. Bake for 45+ minutes. Check with a wooden toothpick if the cake is ready.
Dust some icing sugar over the warm cake.