I was away recently, travelling through Germany and the Czech Republic, which means two things.
First, it was a great trip and I had a good time, learned a lot, saw a lot and met a lot of nice people.
Two, I gained weight.
Of course I gained weight. That’s what happens on a vacation.
Is it just me or does everyone add a few pounds this way?
I gained weight even though I walked probably 6-8 miles each day. Think of what would have happened if I taxi-ed all over the place!
But when you’re in a place that’s famous for its Apple Kuchen, schlag, dark beer and potatoes, well, you’re gonna gain weight. Especially if you like Apple Kuchen, schlag, dark beer and potatoes.
Which I do.
Okay, so I have to lose four pounds that got added on over 22 days.
But how do I do that when I felt absolutely compelled to try out recipes for Apple Kuchen?
Like the kind we had at a marvelous little coffee house in Potsdam.
The cake was tender and vaguely lemony, with a layer of soft baked sliced apples and crusted with mocha-brown crumbles of streusel.
German Apple Cake
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Place the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix until well blended. Pour in the butter and blend it in. Let stand for 4-5 minutes, then crumble the mixture using your fingers. Set aside.
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the streusel and set it aside. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel in the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and stir only to combine: do not overbeat. Turn the batter into the prepared cake pan. Top with the apple slices. Cover with the streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the outer ring from the pan and let the cake cool completely.
Makes one cake