Saturday, 16 October 2010

Caramelised apple cinnamon cake

Ah... Autumn. The cold is seriously setting in now, due to an unexpected boyfriend cold yesterday we threw out the window our resolution to NOT turn the heating on in the house until November started, and here I am looking at gloominess outside being all cuddly and warm inside. Usually the onset of winter brings me down a notch, but this year for some reason I have made so many plans and so many interesting things are coming up, that I'm still happy as a bunny and really looking forward to the future. So much, that I didn't think hard about putting a neologism I created as a facebook update, and then had to face endless speculation, excitement and finally disappointment from friends who thought that me being "futureexpectant" meant that I was pregnant. I have to admit, if I had thought a bit harder I might have seen the connotations there, but I can assure you, I definitely am not pregnant, neither do I have the time to be at the moment!

What I finally had the time to make was an autumn-fitting cake on one of the few Friday nights that I have managed to leave work on time. After rushing out to catch the next train and forgetting to buy half the ingredients I needed, I got off one stop early, managed to find the stuff I needed in a corner shop, walk back home through the "scenic" route (which can be even more scenic and nice in this time of year), bake the cake, make homemade pizza for dinner with some leftover wonderful Italian cheeses (mozzarella, fontina and provola) I had picked up in Greenwich Market last Sunday and be in bed by 23:00. Record time! And I even managed to fit in an episode of Fringe between all that too!

I hadn't tried this cake before, but it resembled one that I really love making, which has less apples and more of a crumbly top, and I was a bit sceptical about how this one would turn out, but it was immediately approved by the sniffling boyfriend, so I'm assuming if someone with virtually no taste buds would promptly scoff it, then it must be good enough to be worth a post! The apples on the inside made it very moist, and it tastes great warmed up with some vanilla ice cream (I keep writing this for pretty much every cake I post, but is there really anything in the world that DOESN'T taste good warmed up with vanilla ice cream on the side? Nope. Thought so. OK, this one would taste great with some cinnamon ice-cream, if I had had the time to make some. Any good recipes out there? If you find one, give me a shout!). I adapted the recipe a bit and added cinnamon in the cake, and topped it with some icing sugar and NOMU Sweet rub, which is a mix of sugar, cinnamon and sweet spices from a great little South African company. I tried it once years ago, and I've been ordering it online ever since, as I can't do without it, in cakes, pancakes, even on top of hot chocolate!

Caramelised apple cinnamon cake
Source: Adapted from Tesco Real Food

Serves 12

  • 4 apples
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 275g golden granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 100g butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 215g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp NOMU Sweet rub (or a mix of sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice)

Grease a 23cm spring form cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Peel the apples, cut them into ½cm-thick slices and mix them in a large bowl with the lemon juice, 1 tsp of the cinnamon powder and 50g of the sugar. Scatter another 50g of sugar over the base of the tin, and top with enough apple slices to cover the base, overlapping the slices slightly to make a nice circular shape.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Beat the eggs, melted butter, remaining 175g of sugar, salt and vanilla extract together until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and remaining 1 tsp of cinnamon over the mixture and add the ground almonds. Mix in the remaining apple slices with their liquid and fold together quickly. Pour into the tin and bake for 50 minutes, checking the cake after the first 30 minutes to make sure it's not getting "suntanned". If it is, bake it covered with foil for the next 20 minutes.

When it's totally cooled, turn the tin upside down onto a plate so that the base is on the top and sprinkle with icing sugar and then NOMU Sweet rub, or the mix of sweet spices and sugar.
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