Apple cakes are one of my absolute favourite things to bake & to eat. Although this apple & hazelnut cake was great in a very dense, rich way, this version is a much lighter proposition with a fluffier crumb underneath and all the gooey sugary apple-y goodness piled on top and caramelised in the oven.
I was inspired both by a cinnamon cake with apple topping that I’d eaten in Copenhagen & by a delicious sounding Nigel Slater recipe for English Apple Cake along the same lines in his excellent The Kitchen Diaries. When I came to make my own I made a few changes, lil’sis suggested the crumble topping, and this is the final result:
We had some waggy looking eating apples in the salad drawer which were the impetus for this baking session.
Peel, core & chop them. They don’t need to be the same variety – as you can see from the colours below:
Turn the oven to 180C. Spoon a mixture of muscavado & soft brown sugar over the apples & squeeze over half a lemon.
Cream butter & caster sugar together in the food processor, add one beaten egg with a tbsp of sifted flour, followed by the second egg and then the rest of the flour & cinammon. (Doing it likes this avoids any risk of curdling). It should look like this by the end:
It’s quite a heavy batter but that’s good as it has to support the weight of the apples. If it seems too runny, add another tbsp of flour.
Get your loose bottomed cake tin and butter it liberally over the sides as well as the base. Then shake flour over it so the entire surface is covered in a thin film of flour & butter. Hold tin upside down to shake off any excess flour. Flump in the batter.
Spread it out with a spatula:
Avoid tripping over the dog:
Gently spoon the sugary, lemony apple mixture over the batter. With your fingertips rub together a tbsp of soft butter, a tbsp of flour, 1/2tsp of cinnamon & a tbsp of brown sugar . Tip this mixture over the apples.
Set the timer for 45 mins. At 45 mins, turn the oven down to 140 to stop the top overcooking, & cook for a further 15 mins approx. Check with a skewer through the middle to see if it is cooked. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Try to avoid stabbing though the apple as this will mean the skewer comes out clean.
Run a knife around the edge as the sugar means it will stick. Hold up the cake & slide off the ring. Then place a plate on top of the cake and invert. Slip off the loose bottom of the tin (you may need to run a palette knife or thin blade under it), and then invert back onto the airing rack. Delicious served warm with clotted cream.
Step by step photos are here in a Flickr Set.
120g soft butter
120g caster sugar.
120g self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 medium eggs (large are too big for this recipe)
For the apple topping:
3 medium eating apples
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsps soft brown sugar. ( I used half Muscovado & half soft brown, but Demerara works too)
For the topping:
1 tbsp soft butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp brown sugar