Monday, 24 September 2012

Traditional apple cake with a twist

This apple cake was one of four cakes I decided to bake for my son's birthday party yesterday at our house. We have always had a small tradition of having a little Sunday afternoon get together, when celebrating someone's birthday...well for the children anyway. (we don't really tend to throw parties for the grown-ups) I remember as a child thinking it was a little bit special to have at least a couple of relatives, neighbours and friends over for coffee and cake. My mother used to serve up some cinnamon buns, quiches or sandwiches along with the ever so popular 'Kinuski kaka', a caramel cake that both her gran and her mother used to make for special occasions. So it is essentially a family recipe, now passed on to me. How lucky am I!:) The caramel cake was on the menu yesterday as well, and I will post a photo of it, but the recipe will not be shared on this blog.:)
Anyway, back to this particular apple is a recipe originally from my uncle's wife, given to me by my own mother. It is a dense, moist, no fuss kind of cake. Really homely. My 'momma' used to add sliced apples, but I used some homemade apple sauce (apples from my gran's garden) and this time I also added a sumptuous crumb topping made with big rolled oats and dark muscovado sugar. In its simplicity, it almost took my breath away, that's how well it turned out!

Apple cake recipe

2 eggs 
2dl sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar
3dl plain flour 
1tsp baking powder
1dl melted butter
1dl boiling water 
plenty of apple slices or apple sauce (as much or as little as you like)

crumb topping (no recipe so I just "eye-balled" the ingredients)

butter (room temp)
large rolled oats
plain flour
muscovado sugar
cinnamon to taste

(I promise to measure the ingredients next time I bake this cake!)

Start by greasing and coating a 22cm cake tin with some bread crumbs. Preheat oven to 175degrees.
Using an electric whisk/stand mixer, whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gently fold in the sifted plain flour and baking powder in the egg mixture with a spatula. Add the melted butter and lastly the hot water. Mix properly, but do not over beat. Pour the batter in the prepared cake tin and pop in the apple slices or cover with the apple sauce. Bake until the cake is just set. This time it took about 1 hour, because of the moisture in the apple sauce. Sliced apple would not make the batter this loose, so the cake might not need more than 40 minutes. Best to keep an eye on the cake and test with a skewer.
Prepare the crumb topping while the cake is baking, simply by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl with your hands until it reaches a nice dry-ish crumb consistency.

Remove cake from the oven and increase the heat to 200degrees. Cover the almost cooked through cake with a generous amount of crumb mixture and return it to the oven and bake a further 10-15mins until golden and crisp. (do not leave the cake unattended, you wouldn't want to burn it now would you!) :)

Once the cake has cooled, it will keep for several days (unless you consume it straight away!) covered at room temperature.

Bob's your uncle!

 Tastes great as is or served with liberal amounts of custard or ice cream!        




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