It’s only the beginning of November and my dance card is full for the rest of the year with three major events. One is a gathering at our friend’s house for Thanksgiving, for which I’ll be helping out and turning out some desserts. The second one is M’s birthday. Yes, both occasions are celebration with food, lots of food.
If you have followed my comings and goings on Twitter and/or Instagram for the past few years, you know visiting my family in Hong Kong and traveling further in Asia is a full-on escape from New York. I say we, but it’s mostly me, the omnivore, who devours all the home cooked family meals, dishes from favorite places, and surprises at new restaurants. It’s three weeks of pure gluttony with no gym, no exercise except lots of walking (half of which is shopping).
So, I must eat sensibly before our trip, yet with a Thanksgiving feast (and leftovers), plus all the pampering of M’s birthday, how can I hold down the caloric consumption to maintain my waist size?
Curbing my craving for Asian food and eat sensibly with lots of salads, soups and healthy cooking will help. To keep some balance, though,, I’ll compliment my meals with this Apple Almond Cake.
1. Mix apple wedges, sugars, salt, cinnamon in a 12-inch skillet cook over medium heat, stir occasionally, until apples are tender and liquid has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in brandy (if use) and lemon juice. Gently spread apple wedges on a baking sheet to cool.
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375℉. Spray a 8×8 square baking pan, set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add almond paste and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add vanilla, eggs (one at a time), beat until combine. Add the flour mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and smooth top with small off-set spatula.
3. Arrange apple slices on top of the batter in overlapping rows, pressing lightly into the batter. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over apples. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, about 40 minutes. Invert cake onto a cutting board and reinvert onto a serving platter. Serve.