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.
Thank you Natasha for a recipe that brought a piece of home to me.
Fennel Pollen – where to source it from :