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Mar 082012
 
Fennel pollen apple cake

The incredibly delicious and Light Fennel pollen apple cake. Recipe source : Natasha at 5 Star Foodie Adventures

 Once upon a time I baked a cake box cake. Then I never baked again – the cake box cake that is. With a very few exceptions, baking at home was not for everyone in India. Ovens in a regular home were not the priority or an essential appliance. They were a luxury thing. And in an average Indian home they still are an indulgence.

So did we not bake at home ? Is that what you are thinking? We did! We baked what I call pressure cooker concentration camp cakes. Yes, we baked cakes in pressure cookers. Just a basic chocolate cake or sponge cake. Nothing fancy. Made by one of my cousins, Dolly Didi ( Didi is a respectful way of addressing an older sister), who was an expert pressure cooker cake baker. She was ten years older and to us at 11 and 12 years old she was the high priestess of all things fancy.

When I moved to the US and saw that my tiny apartment kitchen had a big oven I jumped with joy. I could finally bake and make the divine looking cakes that I had seen in professional pastry shops, Magazines or cake books. I was ready or so I thought.

I got a cake mix box and decided to bake a cake. Chocolate cake with some extra chocolate thing in it. I baked it. Followed all directions and it actually turned out perfect. In shape and size that is. I had also taken the Wilton cake decoration classes which I aced. Years of looking at the magazines and drooling over cake details does that to a girl. I decorated it, composed it, presented it.

But I was devastated when I ate the cake. My dream of meteoric rise to cake stardom was shattered. Heartbroken was the word and I felt cheated. The cake was not anywhere near the flavors I had come to expect from a chocolate cake.

I did what I do best when I am at my lowest ebb. I jumped right back in. Researched cakes, researched high altitude baking ( Have I mentioned I live in the Rockies?) and somewhat perfected the art of flavorful cake baking at home.

Why am I telling you this story? Because the cake I present today is a cake full of decadent flavor, indulgent aroma, simple goodness of honest ingredients and it tastes like home to me.  Crispy Apples & fresh smelling fennel pollen. Kashmir, the place I am from has both these in abundance and baking them in a cake was incredibly reminiscent .

 Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,

A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.

~Robert Montgomery

Thank you Natasha  for a  recipe that brought a piece of home to me.

 

 

Fennel Pollen Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4th teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons fennel pollen
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4th cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups apples (chopped small)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder,salt and fennel pollen in a bowl
  3. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat eggs and sugar until pale and then mix in the sour cream
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mix and fold in
  5. Add the apples and raisins
  6. Pour into a well greased spring foam pan. I baked mine in a quiche pan.
  7. 7. sprinkle sugar on top and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. test to see if the testing comes out clean
http://www.spiceroots.com/fennel-pollen-apple-cake

Fennel Pollen – where to source it from :

Savory spice shop , Marx foods , Amazon  You can also see if they are available at your local specialty spice store.

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 Posted by on March 8, 2012 at 8:34 AM  Tagged with:

  20 Responses to “Fennel Pollen Apple Cake”

Comments (19)
  1. Hi Ansh,

    I tried a slightly tweaked version of this cake, while the flavor grew on me a few days later, the texture just bowled me over (I always believed that this texture could only be achieved with butter). This one will go into my list of comfort foods. Thanks for sharing. You can check out mine at:
    http://sweetinsomniac.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/november-resolutions-sweet-goodbyes/?preview=true&preview_id=351&preview_nonce=f377400b9b

    I love the way you write and the stories you tell.

     
  2. amazing …mouthwaterin!

     
  3. That is a beautiful cake and this is a gorgeous blog! I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog. I live in Westminster, so we are blog neighbors. ;)

     
  4. That is a very interesting flavor combination you picked!

     
    • Kankana, this was inspired by a friend who made fennel pollen pasta. I searched the web for some cake recipes with fennel pollen and fell in love with this one. Its beautiful and simple flavors took my heart away.

       
  5. Ansh, looks great! You’re a very talented food writer with a fantastic collection of recipes. Truly, a pleasure to drop by and read what you’ve been up to.

     
  6. wow this cake looks so good n healthy too dear..thanx 4 sharing this….
    Maha

     
  7. Yummy Yummy……..iam sure this tastes simply superb….Going 2 try this soon……nice space vth awesoem recipes…….
    Maha

     
  8. Beautiful story. Always wanted to go to Kashmir after all the childhood stories I read….and lovely cake as well.

     
  9. That looks delicious and comforting. I love pressure cooker cakes! My aunt and mom made those as special treats and how fast they vanished! :)

    We used to buy a bunch of tender fennel seeds outside our school, are those called fennel pollen?

     
    • You did too? I mean eat the pressure cake? hehe!! They were so good. But our didi would make us clean up after she baked.. that why they felt like an army camp :)) but were so worth all the work we did.

      The wild growing fennel plants’ yellow flowers are collected dried and screened for the pollen .. It is very potent.. you need only a pinch in most cases.

       
  10. Love the way you write, how you tell a story connected to each recipe! Will have to try fennel pollen, sounds very interesting. Thanks for introducing me to a new spice :)

     
    • Thank you,Jyothi. Fennel pollen is a wonderful spice to add to pasta, savory treats and just about anything. And this cake really made me think about home.

       
  11. The cake looks simple and very homestyle. Keep blogging such homely recipes for us all.
    Love Ash.

     

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