Apple Lemon Poppy Cake

I love baking completely from scratch, but I also enjoy taking ready-made mixes and experimenting with them.  When it comes to instant cake mixes and anything one needs for convenient baking, Germany is tops.  Every supermarket has a complete stock of a multitude of mixes, single-use flavorings , and even instant cake decor.  Tweaking a simple and cheap cake mix to create something extra special is an easy way to impress your friends or guests without worrying about never having tried a new recipe.

For this food experiment, I wanted to get rid of an old box of instant lemon cake mix.  Since I still had a pack of poppyseeds and apples that were about to go bad, I thought of putting them all together.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

-One box of instant lemon cake

-3 Tablespoons of dried poppyseeds

-Two apples (Or just enough to make three layers in a loafpan), peeled and sliced into 0.5mm thickness

-For the caramel garnish: 5 tablespoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (NOTE: These are estimates and one should adjust accordingly to achieve the proper thickness.  The mixture should be viscous and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon heavily.)

  • Prepare the cake mix as written on the box, add poppy seeds to the mixture
  • Grease a loaf pan of the proper size with butter
  • Set one layer of apples in the pan, sprinkle with a little sugar, add another layer of apples
  • Pour cake mix into pan
  • Make one layer of apples to top the loaf
  • Bake the cake according to the instructions on the box.
  • For the caramel:
    • heat up a dry pan
    • spread the sugar evenly in the pan
    • caramelize (Watch the sugar melt and turn yellow, while swirling the pan around. Do NOT mix with a spoon. Note that the darker the liquid turns, the more bitter/intense the caramel gets.
    • add butter and swirl around in pan
    • add condensed milk, mix on low heat until uniform
    • let caramel set
Glazed with lemon sugar that came along with the mix

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Poppy seeds go well with sour cakes/loaves which is why I thought of adding them to the mix.  Since the lemon cake is already sour and the apples will be rather tart, the cake is suggested to be served with the caramel.  In lieu of the caramel, one can also use butterscotch.  The recipe is the same as above, but one must add about 100mL of cream instead of condensed milk.  This butterscotch can then be drizzled on top of the cake.

Served with a lemon glaze, a caramel quenelle, and white chocolate shavings

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