Autumn is officially here but Madrid is still enjoying a summer like weather. Many people are enjoying the warmer temperatures but I can't wait for the seasons to really change.
And while I wait, I could not resist to bake with the fruits of autumn with apples being one of my obvious and favorite choices. Apples go so well with several spices, which makes them such a useful ingredient in many baked goodies. I certainly love how my house smells whenever I am baking something with apples!
I have made many recipes with this fruit before and shared quite a few like this apple butter that you can use in many recipes like this cake, and how about this simple tart?
The recipe of today is from Austria and called Strauben, but widely known in the USA as funnel cakes. It is quite a popular dessert in carnivals.
The funnel cake might remind you of other cakes made in similar fashion around the world. In the Middle East, a very popular dessert, called Mouchabak, is made from a fermented dough that is fried in deep oil and then dipped in sugar syrup,. In India they have a similar cake too. And while the funnel cake is made with baking powder, strauben uses whipped egg whites!
My version of strauben or funnel cakes incorporated the traditional apple pie spices and served with spicy caramelized apples instead of jam. The result was just perfect!
With the amount of ingredients I used you will get around 15 small cakes (about 10 cm), so if you are not too greedy, make sure to invite some friends over for a brunch or an afternoon coffee!
What you need:
- 1 egg at room temperature, separated
- 70 g flour
- 85ml milk
- 5 g sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of each of the following spices: cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
- one tsp of brandy or gin, I used juniper brandy (optional)
- 7 g melted butter
- oil for frying
In a bowl combine the egg yolk and the milk, whisk well, once combined add sugar, alcohol, flour and spices and mix. In a separate bowl add the salt to the egg white and beat till soft peaks. Fold in the egg white to the mixture. Once well combined fill the batter in a piping bag or a squeeze bottle.
In a pan, heat the oil until it reaches about 170C, slowly squeeze the batter in the hot oil and swirl to make a lace pattern. The batter will expand, so controlling the shape of the cakes will be a bit tricky but that's perfectly fine as the cakes are supposed to look rustic. Once golden brown fish them out of the oil and place them over a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Serve these crunchy and delicious treats with some powdered sugar or with spicy apples that I made using this recipe!