I received a cool little cookbook, Sweet treats to share, to review (read the review here). As I do, I found the apple recipes and got out my pinny. We had Annabelle White’s Sicilian Apple Cake for Sunday night pudding tea (more on that some other time) and that was as far as I had got. The review was a little overdue but I needed to bake something else from the book (I forgot to photograph the Sicilian Apple Cake before it was scarfed).
The baking tins are full of things my husband doesn’t eat – mini mocha cupcakes and peanut chocolate cupcakes (he detests peanuts and doesn’t rate coffee much higher). He was quite happy I had baked things he wouldn’t eat as he is fearful my baking is making him a little rotund (he’s not). So it appeared I needed to bake something (with apples) that The Anster would like.
Apple & Date ring looks nice but I didn’t feel like dates, and baked apples wasn’t something you could have for morning tea. Well, you could, but it wasn’t what I was after. Oaty Apple Walnut Muffins needed stewed apple……. I had apple puree but that’s not quite the same and the Pumpkin & Prune cake required cold mashed pumpkin. I wanted something really easy that I could whip up before turning my attention to dinner.
Allyson Gofton’s Spiced Apple & Walnut Cake fitted the bill perfectly and I had all the ingredients. The cookbook didn’t say what size eggs were used, nor whether a cup was using the spoon in or dip & sweep method. As I have Allyson Gofton’s Bake book, I decided to go with her weight measurements and size 7 eggs (medium 62g).
Baking before dinner isn’t always the best thing to do. I got that panicky feeling when you know tea has to be on the table by a certain time due to an evening appointment and you’ve started the prep a little bit too late. I got a little bit crossed up when calculating the quantity of eggs I needed for the cake. The original recipe requires 2 eggs, beaten….. so 124g of beaten eggs.
My sweet little chickens are new to laying so their eggs are on the small side. 2 eggs gave me 89g beaten egg. I worked out that three eggs would give me a little more than I required, but in checking my calculations I accidentally thought I needed 3 medium eggs…. and so I chucked in a fourth small egg. Oops ….. I now had 178g of beaten egg (incorporated into the sugar & butter etc)…… I just had to box on. I thought about scaling up the rest of the ingredients but was short on time as it was.
The original recipe calls for 3 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced. There seems to be some consensus in the cyber food world that a medium apple is approximately 182g. I had some crisp Cripps Pink apples. They are med-large apples – I needed 2.75 apples (I ate the other quarter, it was lovely!). I very rarely peel apples, a quick wash and dry is adequate unless they are Red Delicious. The skins of Red Delicious are quite tough.
The apples are quite tricky to mix with the butter mixture – perhaps my bowl wasn’t quite large enough. There was also a debate as to whether the walnuts would make the cake – Miss M felt the cake would be way better without the nuts (but she thinks everything is better without nuts). The nuts won even if they weren’t strictly halves (more like quarters and bits). I even put the nutmeg into the cake (I’m not real fond of nutmeg due to a childhood dessert of Junket (bleugh) spinkled liberally with nutmeg and served with canned Lychees (double bleugh)).
My cake browned a lot more on top than the cake in the cookbook photograph. I wasn’t sure if the extra egg was going to cause huge cake issues or not (it didn’t). The serving suggesting is to dust with icing sugar and eat warm with custard or cream. I had my piece for morning tea. It is delicious cold so eating it warm with custard would be positively dangerous. Oh, and tea (dinner) was ready on bang on time.
Spiced Apple & Walnut Cake
Allyson Gofton’s original recipe can be found here. I have given the weights as I made the cake, included my 4 small egg mistake which turned out just fine. I plan to make this cake again (and again). Next time the walnuts will be ground and incorporated into the cake mixture to try and fool Miss M. I will also use a bigger bowl. And……. I’ll try it with the original amount of eggs.
75 g butter, melted
250 g sugar
4 small eggs, beaten
40 g golden syrup
550 g apple, cored & thinly sliced
250 g plain white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoon cinnamon
50 g walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Combine butter, sugar, eggs & golden syrup in a large bowl (I used a 8 cup/2 litre Pyrex measuring jug but a bigger bowl would have made things easier).
Add the apple slices and toss to coat in the batter mixture.
Sift the flour, baking soda and spices together then stir into the apple batter.
Spoon into prepared cake tin and smooth out the top.
Place (scatter) the walnut pieces over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is cooked (test with a skewer and when it comes out clean, the cake is cooked).
Cool cake on a cake rack.
Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by custard & cream or serve cold, with a cup of herbal tea (Apple & Chamomile) as I did.