Monday, 6 August 2012

Olympic Food Challenge - Romanian Apple Cake - Romania

I think Romania is the first of my countries that I've blogged about that has actually won some medals at the time of me posting.  Of course, they've had just over a week to get going and have managed to amass two golds (gymnastics and shooting), four silvers (judo x2, weightlifting and fencing) and two bronze (gymnastics and weightlifting) so far.  In short, don't mess with the Romanians - they're a strong and agile bunch.

Not a Cheeky Girl in sight
Romania itself is probably best known for being home to Dracula's castle in Transylvania - a historical region in the centre of the country.  Depending on whether you love or hate horror stories, that could be seen as one of a few of the bad things that Romania is known for.  Other slightly unpalatable things that spring to mind are communist dictator Nicolai Ceaucescu, who was overthrown in the bloody revolution in 1989 (I vividly remember delivering newspapers splashed with images from this in my formative years) and, perhaps worst of all horrors, for giving the world The Cheeky Girls.

On the plus side Romanian has given the world a host of eminent scientists, artists and sportsmen and women - you can read about them here.

The cuisine - as one website states - isn't necessarily the first thing you would consider when visiting Romania.  Not being an expert on this subject, I would agree however that it does seem to have many similarities to food from other countries that formed part of the Ottoman empire.  On the one hand, it's diverse.  On the other hand, when you have Bulgaria, Cyprus and Macedonia in your Olympic Food Challenge list, you don't want to be too samey.

I eventually settled on a Romanian apple cake because I had to do at least one bake during these two weeks (I've also baked several new recipes that I've not blogged about thanks to OFC including a rather nice triple layer chocolate and coconut cake and a neopolitan bundt cake).  Baking is probably my own best discipline when it comes to food and if I was going to go for gold in any category, this would be the one.

Sadly, I think I let myself down with this recipe.  Or at least the apples I chose let me down.  The recipe calls for five apples, but doesn't specify which type.  I went for the Pink Lady variety because they normally have a great, fizzy flavour and have previously worked well when a recipe has called for eating rather than cooking apples.  Unfortunately, this particular batch lacked that little bit of pizazz to contrast with the very sweet-spicy sponge that the recipe produces.  Ten out of ten to the recipe for simplicity and a great bake result.  One out of ten to the overpriced apples from Sainzlebobs, giving this an overall result of a silver.

You can find the recipe here.

Romanian flag

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