When I was a young adult I lived and worked in my home town, East London, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Mixed in with all the exciting memories of that time, is the apple cake from the Coelocanth Café at the East London museum. Honestly, I don’t recall visiting the museum more than once when I was at school, but I know the café made many appearances, as did the apple cake. I think there were 2 consecutive birthdays where that was the location of my birthday celebration, mainly because of that cake.
On the menu it was called a German Apple Cake, but in later years I hopefully asked a friend from the South African German community about it and he didn’t know it.
I also tried to Google it and there were many recipes listed, but there was no way to determine which it would be.
In later years the café closed down and the owner had different ventures and I believed the cake was lost from memory.
Now I don’t know if it is because the Dutch is obsessed with apple pie (and its a really good pie) or whether it is because Marinus is such an enthusiastic eater of my baking creations, but either way I got inspired by the idea of tracking down the recipe.
I remembered that an old family friend was friends with the owner, and they are all regularly in touch, that is how I heard about the guy is working at another business now (not cake related) and luckily for me the family friend is also an avid cook and baker. I told him my story and was rewarded with a telephone number.
Then I constructed my message to the owner of the café and holder of the recipe. I explained that I now live abroad and I have always loved that cake, and may I please have the recipe?
I was told that the café closed down, but the recipe might be uh a box somewhere, and he will have a look someday.
I nearly forgot about this, until a couple of weeks ago when I received the recipe among with side notes.
This weekend I could finally try it out, and I’ll be honest, it tastes even better than it looks!
In my memory the cake was slightly darker, but I don’t know what is different, any ideas? My leading theory is that perhaps brown sugar will make it more caramely?
The taste however is on point and I’m glad I finally got the recipe for this cake that hold a lot of memories.
Be kind. Stay safe.