Monday, 25 November 2013

Sugar Apple Cake

Another apple post. I told you we'd collected a lot.

I found this recipe online in the hunt for a apple-y dessert for a family meal a few weeks back. This cake is delicious. Rich, buttery, sugary, caramely, topped with apple, it's wonderful served warm with ice cream or cream, but is equally as delicious cold. It looks impressive and is really easy to make - the perfect dessert for autumn.

I don't know whether it was my oven, or the fact that I used a round, deeper tin than the one in the original post that was square, but my cake ended up a little different from what I was expecting from the pictures. It also took a lot longer to cook, over two hours, compared to the 1.5 that the recipe suggested. Because of this extra cooking time, the crust of the cake turned more buscuity and crunchy than soft, but gave the dessert a really interesting contrast of textures, everyone commented on it, so I think the cake was all the better for it.

The middle of the cake stays moist and soft, because juice from the apples seeps into the cake while it's cooking. 

I was doubtful at first of trusting such a thick batter, normally I find that thicker batters work best for my cakes, and stay fresher and nicer for longer, but this was almost a dough. I had to add some milk to get it anywhere near a pourable consistency. The original poster mentioned that the mix would seem unusually thick, but promised that the cake would turn out well. Which it did, luckily! I suspect the thick batter had something to do with the delicious crust that formed as well.

This cake is a really lovely autumn dessert, perfect for when cooking apples are in season. It's not overly sweet, and gives a welcome change to chocolate cakes and heavier puddings. It's just as good cold the next day as it is straight from the oven, and needs little else but a scoop of ice cream or some cream to finish it off wonderfully.

Next time I make this I'll experiment with adding different flavours to the cake batter. I only had vanilla on hand when I made this but I know cinnamon would be lovely as well for a spicy warm kick. You also have the option of adding sultanas and almonds to the batter, both of which I left out from the original recipe, becausue I wanted the focus to be on the apples, not other flavours (plus, I'm not that keen on almond flavour anyway).

Sugar Apple Cake

125g butter/margarine
2 large eggs
225g caster sugar, or a mix of caster and brown or demerara for a more caramely taste
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Milk, for thinning
350g Bramley apples
demerara sugar

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 3. Grease and line a 8'' loose bottomed cake tin. Peel, core and slice apples into thin wedges
2. Mix all cake ingredients together in a large bowl. The batter will most likely be very thick. Add a few splashes of milk until you get to the right consistency - a thick but smooth batter that will pour, but that will not be self leveling. It will also smell incredible!
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, and arrange the apple slivers on top. You can be neat and pretty about this or you can just dump them on - it all tastes the same at the end of the day.
4. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of demerara and bake until cooked through. The original recipe says this will take about and hour and a half but it took over two hours for me. If the cake is taking a really long time reduce the temperature slightly to prevent burning.A knife inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean, and the top will be golden brown.
5. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin and serving. 

Store leftovers in the fridge once the cake has cooled completely.

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