What Do We Do At Sea?

We celebrate whenever possible and yesterday we had the perfect excuse, Snow Dragon’s 17th birthday. For the occasion, I decided to make an apple cake, using the recipe I developed a few years ago while wintering in Tromso, Norway.

Since I was on watch, I decided to mix the ingredients together while sitting in the nav chair where I could keep an eye on the spinnaker, ice and traffic. With the sun streaming into the pilothouse, the salon table turned out to be the perfect place to let the butter soften in the mixing bowl before creaming it with the sugar. Without getting a speck of flour on the navigational instruments, I managed get the cake in the oven and then waited patiently for 40 minutes.

The cake turned out brilliantly and both Frances and Tybalt were a bit disappointed that I rationed them to one slice. Then during night watch, I could not help thinking about how special it was to have spent the day sailing off the west cost of Greenland with snow covered mountains sparkling under bright blue sky. And the apple cake that I made in honor of the occasion was perfect. . . .wait, I forgot the eggs! I even had to wake Frances up just to verify that she did not sneak the 3 eggs in while I wasn’t looking.

It is the kind of baking “mistake” that would have sent me into panic and rushing to make another one if I had known about it before taking the first bite. Personally, I think the cake is better without the eggs and now that I am thinking about it, I also forgot to sprinkle the top with brown sugar before putting it in the oven. Two mistakes I will happily repeat.

If the mention of cake has you eyeing your oven, here is the recipe. Let me know how it turns out and if you are feeling brave or short of ingredients, leave out the eggs and skip the brown sugar.

Apple Coconut Raisin Cake
(Measurements are US cups, teaspoons and tablespoons)
¾ cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs (optional)
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
¾ cup shredded coconut
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup raisins
6 capfuls dark rum
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F
Cream the sugar and butter until smooth then stir in the beaten eggs if you wish to add them. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Then the stir in the milk followed by the rum, raisins, coconut and apple. Pour the slightly runny batter into a buttered 10” round cake pan and sprinkle with brown sugar if desired.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Let the cake cool before serving.

1 Comment on What Do We Do At Sea?

  1. Tom Hickinbotham // June 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm // Reply

    Great to hear from you, we had lost contact. We just spent several weeks in your area, sailed the coast of Norway and also stopped in Iceland. Great views of Greenland while flying over, but a scary place! Glad you seem to be doing fine – looks like you are headed back our way. Tom & Jane (AK 2007)

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