Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WHB Twice cooked apple cake

I have said before that I love the change of season.  Have I also told you that the one thing I hate about it?  Fruit has an off season.  The shadow falls when Autumn's harvest is fading and we are still waiting for Summer's bounty.  I lose my love of fresh fruit and become Little Miss Fussy.  Tinned fruit and dried fruit start to look attractive.  Right now apples and pears are no longer crisp and perky.  Stone fruit is starting to creep into the stores but it is rock hard and expensive. 

Last week I was under the weather.  I wanted fruit but the three apples in my fruit bowl just did not appeal.  It was time to bake apple cake.  Some time before, I had organised for my friends Kathleen and Michael to come to lunch.  Usually when I have friends over I like to cook.  Not last week.  I bought falafels, hummus, turkish bread and vegies.  I was glad however to offer freshly baked cake.

The recipe came from Choclette, who had put apples, thyme and choc chips into her cake.  Mine was plainer.  The cake was delicious out of the oven and almost better the next day.  It had a hint of caramel and was lightly spiced.  Unusually, the apples were cooked in butter and sugar before baking.  They were lovely and soft when baked in the cake.  My cake took a little more time than Choclette's and seemed to have a particularly low oven.  If I was to make it again, and I hope I will, I would like to experiment with the temperature and timing.

I baked the apple cake first thing in the morning before visiting a friend, hanging out washing and heading out to the supermarket.  It was easy enough to make while supervising muesli being sprinkled into bowls with dried fruit, reminding E to get up, changing a wet nappy, putting on a load of laundry, having my shower, dressing Sylvia, finding the last of the bread I had made on the weekend, finding more bread in the freezer and eating some fruit.  Easy!

Kathleen and Michael enjoyed the cake.  I thought Sylvia wolfed down a piece but I later found it on the floor.  Then later I found her digging out the fruit from her piece of cake.  She must get that from her dad.  E liked the cake but said it would be better without apples and even better with choc chips.  I disagree.  This was definitely among the best apple cakes of the year.

I am sending this cake to Haalo for Weekend Herb Blogging #308.  This event, which was founded by Kalyn, turns 6 this week.  Congratulations on 6 years of sharing fascinating recipes on WHB.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: Eggplant Pate for Boys Birthday
This time two years ago: Boys Birthday, Number Two
This time three years ago: Asparagus Adulation and two recipes
This time four years ago: Easy Peasy Risotto Soup

Twice cooked apple cake
Adapted from Chocolate Log Blog

3 apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
25g butter
1 1/2 tbsp sugar (I used raw)
1 tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
125g butter
1/2 cup castor sugar (scant)
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar (scant)
3 eggs
3/4 cup white plain flour
1/2 wholemeal plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Gently cook apples with 25g butter, 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, golden syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon for 10-20 minutes until softened but not mushy.

Cream remaining butter and sugars.  Beat in eggs one by one.  (I did this by hand.)  Gently stir in the flours, baking powder and spices.  Stir through apple mixture until just combined.  Spoon into a greased and lined 20cm square cake tin (or 23cm round cake tin).

Baked at 150 C for 50 minutes (mine wasn't cooked by then so I cooked it another 15 minutes at 170 C).  It is cooked when it is golden brown on top and starting to come away from the sides of the tin.  Sit 5 or 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  Dust with icing sugar to serve if desired.

On the Stereo:
Super Trouper: Abba

15 comments:

  1. Mmm. I adore apple cake and this is one instance when I definitely agree that no chocolate chips is better! I also sympathise with the fruit situation, although reductions in banana prices and the wide-spread availability of strawberries are keeping me happy. I've also splurged on 1 mango and 1 blueberry punnet to date :P I miss crisp apples though.

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  2. I adore an apple cake of any kind, and this one looks terrific. I am also envious of your large bright kitchen!

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  3. This cake sounds so lovely! I hope it made you feel better!

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  4. Fantastic! I love apple-based desserts like these! Although I always find it hard to stop at one piece!

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  5. This cake looks fabulous! I am all about apples right now, so I will be bookmarking this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Mmmmmm, I (used to) love apple cake! I should make up a gluten-free and sugar-free version, that should be possible! :)

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  7. That cake looks and sounds stunning. I can almost smell it. Love your chairs, too. Lovely :) xx

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  8. Hope you are feeling better now. Glad you liked the cake. I thought it was a particularly nice one and I have tried quite a few recipes - it's those caramel apples that does it. Ovens are tricky beasties and timings are just so dependent on the oven - mine is quite a hot oven I think as everything seems to cook much faster than it says in recipes. But yours looks really good, light and moist.

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  9. Lovely looking apple cake. Don't despair on the fruit front - the cherries are almost here, the mangoes have arrived, bananas are much cheaper and the peach I got at Preston Market today was almost sweet. But best of all its strawberry season!!! That and the nice people of Mildura still need us to keep eating oranges....

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  10. Thanks Kari - funny you mention strawberries because straight after I posted this I made a banana and strawberry smoothie and was thinking I shouldn't complain now that bananas are so much cheaper but I don't eat them like I go through stone fruit when it is in season. Strawberries are great this year, aren't they!

    Thanks Cakelaw - our kitchen gets a decent amount of light for a small place

    Thanks Joanne - cake always makes me feel better :-)

    Thanks Lisa - I have a new 20cm square cake tin which is great when it comes to cutting into small squares rather wedges - they are much smaller so it is easier to have more than one piece :-)

    Thanks Nicole - you are lucky they are in season on your side of the world - hope you enjoy the cake

    Thanks Kath - am sure it would work without sugar (do you use coconut sugar - I think that would work well) and am sure could be de-glutenised

    Thanks Sally - very kind - and I love those chairs too but they are now starting to fall apart which makes me very sad :-(

    Thanks Choclette - it is a great apple cake - I have made a few recipes this year and this one compares very favourably. Ovens are indeed a law unto themselves. My old oven used to be so slow to cook that I thought any new oven would be really hot but our new(ish) one is hot but not hellishly so.

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  11. Thanks Liz - the strawberries this year are great - I am not a mango fan and I don't eat as many oranges as I should but I have been checking the stone fruit which has been rock hard but at least it is there. I did buy a few early cherries this week due to pester power (ie to stop sylvia eating them in store) and then forgot about them - must see if they are still ok - saw some organic cherries at the Vic Market today for $45 and winced!

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  12. It looks gorgesous - I love apple cakes. I think I'd agree with you on the no chocolate front. I love chocolate, but it has its time and place and sometimes that isn't in an apple cake!

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  13. I agree with you - this cake is better with apples and no chocolate chips! I keep thinking of making an apple cake but haven't.

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  14. Shall be trying this. Made some disappointing apple cake last weekend. Been craving some of the good stuff since. :)

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  15. That cake looks great. I love seeing the cross sections of apple chunks in the slice.

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