I believe everyone of us has an innate ability to be a foodie, a food critic, or a gourmet /connoisseur, but not everybody can be a teacher who knows how to correct the frequently made mistakes of amateur home cooks.
SOS Piet is one of them, he is a very famous chef cum TV host who has his own cook show on belgian (flemish) television called SOS Piet, his real name being a bit tricky for my tongue, Piet Huysentruyt. He would go around saving damsels in distress (SOS!!!) in the kitchen (sometimes men too) with his trademark suitcase filled with cooking pans and ingredients. You can pose him any questions or problems about a particularly tricky dish and he sure knows how to solve it "instantly" with a click of his fingers on national TV.
Well, I watched his show a couple of times on TV and honestly I find his mannerisms very grappig (funny) and exaggerated, more like a comedian than an accomplished chef. But that's what sells on TV. He has a whole collection of cookbooks tied to his cook shows and also a whole series of cooking utensils and spices endorsed by him. I haven't bought any of his books or pans yet, but I tried one of his apple cake recipes recently.
It was lovely and quite easy. The instructions in his recipe (in Dutch) were a bit strange in sequence, so I adapted it here and there. It is quite a healthy cake with lots of apples, not too high in butter and sugar content, just nice for my liking. My hubby likes it too, that's all that matters, cos if he doesn't like my cake, then I would have to finish it all by myself. Either that or my chickens would have a nice little tea-party all by themselves. ;)
3 to 4 apples (1 chopped in small blocks, 2 to 3 cut into thin slices for deco)
100g raisins (soaked for 10 min in rum or sweet liquer of choice, I used Amaretto)
100g butter, softened at room temperature
300g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp milk
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Beat butter and sugar til light and creamy.
3. Add in eggs one by one and mix until well-blended. Followed by milk, raisins (drained of sweet liquer) and chopped apples.
4. Fold in the sifted flour mixture (plain flour and baking soda) with spatula.
5. Pour the batter into a lined and greased 8 inch (20cm) springform pan.
6. Line the apple slices on top of the batter and press them in slightly.
7. Bake at 180C for 40-45 min until done.