I’m a fan & collector of Neil Perry’s recipes published in the Good Weekend section of the Sydney Morning Herald – especially the Italian ones.
A few months ago, Neil shared a recipe for Italian Apple Cake with Grand Marnier Mascarpone. It resembled a cake my mum use to make when I was very young and that I loved so off I went to work in the kitchen to recreate a memory.
As always I made a few adjustments to the recipe to my tastes and pantry. I substituted the Grand Mariner with Cointreau as both share an orange flavour. Furthermore, I added orange sugar syrup to soak in the cake sponge as I thought it was a little dry on my first attempt. I highly recommend you include the orange syrup to the cake as it creates a luscious moist sponge and intensifies the flavour!
The Cointreau mascarpone cream is a fantastic balance – breaking through the sweetness of the cake. Serve it alongside or on top to create a masterpiece.
This would be a great easy dessert to bake for Christmas day festivities. Enjoy.
A delicious apple cake soaked with orange syrup and served with a Cointreau mascarpone cream. A scrumptious cake to serve up this Christmas. By Neil Perry - adapted by Angela Palermo
15 minPrep Time
50 minCook Time
1 hr, 5 Total Time
3 each Apples, medium size, red apples
10-20ml Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
150g Butter, unsalted, softened
150g Castor sugar (plus extra 25g)
5ml Vanilla Extract
1 each Orange, finely grated zest
4 each Eggs
200g Plain flour
5g Baking Powder
Pinch Sea Salt
Ground Cinnamon, for dustin
100g Castor Sugar
100ml Orange juice, freshly squeezed
40ml Double Cream
15g Castor Sugar
- Preheat oven to 180c. Lightly grease a 22cm round springform cake tin and line the base & sides with double thickness baking paper to extend 2cm above the side of the tin.
- Peel and core apples and cut each apple into 5mm thick slices. Toss apple slices into the lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and orange rind until light and creamy.
- Add the eggs, individually, beating well after each addition (make sure to scrap the sides after each addition).
- Then sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half of this to the butter mixture. Fold through.
- Then add the milk, Cointreau and remaining flour. Mix until combined & smooth.
- Spoon batter into prepared cake tin and smooth the top with a small palette knife.
- Combine extra sugar & cinnamon and toss with apples to give a light coating. Then overlap apple slices in a circle over top of batter.
- Bake for about 50mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer and sponge springs back when touched.
- Allow to sit in cake tin for 5 to 10mins and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Place water and castor sugar in a small pot, stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Then add 100ml of freshly squeezed orange juice. Allow to boil and skim the top foam if any.
- Brush or pour syrup over cooled cake.
- Combine all ingredients and whisk gently until well combined and soft peaks form.
- Serve alongside apple cake.