Today is definitely a day for staying-in and pottering (if you can). The weather here in Bath is not nice – I’m feeling sorry for anyone who’s come to the Christmas market – get in a pub with a mulled cider is my advice!
I’m going to be making some edible Christmas presents today – more on that soon – but if you feel like doing some baking I have a great cake for you (particularly if you’re still trying to use up a glut of apples).
Apple cake with Caramel Icing
I love apple cake, it’s delicious and moist because of all the fruit. You can spice it with cinnamon or ginger like the one I made last year (link here) which was really tasty, but this year I wanted to try a variation on the classic ‘toffee apple’ flavour. I had a lot of cooking apples left over so decided to make a variation on Mary Berry’s apple cake, and found a recipe for caramel icing which I thought would go well with it. The result was definitely a triumph! The cake was really moist inside, but with a good crust, and the icing was thick and caramelly (new word) and good enough to eat out of the bowl – there was also lots of it left over which was excellent.
Mary Berry suggests eating the cake warm, in which case the icing could be served on the side, but the cake was delicious cold also and still moist a couple of days later!
For the cake:
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
150g butter, melted
250g cooking apples, peeled, cored & thickly sliced
For the icing:
125g white caster sugar
80ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
160g butter, softened
200g/7oz icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. I don’t own a particularly deep loose-bottom cake tin so I gave it some extra height with a baking paper collar.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and melted butter into a bowl or stand mixer. Mix well until combined, then beat briefly.
3. Pour half of the mixture into the cake tin. Place the apples on top of the mixture, piling most near the centre (they will spread out during cooking. Spoon the rest of the mixture over the apples, again making sure that the centre is well-covered as it will spread out in the oven.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 75-90 minutes until the cake is golden and coming away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool (or eat straight away!)
5. For the caramel icing, put the caster sugar & 4 tbsp of water in a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and cook the caramel for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Don’t stir, just be patient! Once golden, remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the double cream. The caramel won’t like this and will spit at you so be careful. Stir in the vanilla and then set aside to completely cool.
6. Cream the butter and icing sugar together for at least 4- 5 minutes until light and fluffy (less if using a stand mixer), then beat in the caramel a little at a time.
Decorate the cake however you want with the icing (or serve on the side if you want to eat the cake warm!)
Happy Sunday (whatever you’re up to!)