Monday, 6 August 2012

Apfelkuchen - Spicy Apple Cake

I made this for my boyfriend's dad because he's been doing a lot of stuff down at our flat lately, like tidying up the back garden, putting up curtain poles and mirrors and such.  As a result, the place is coming together quite nicely.  I do like having proper curtains up at last, especially since we are a ground floor flat.  So as a bit of gratitude, I made this cake.  He's not a big fan of really sweet cakes or icing of any sort, but he usually likes the fruity cakes I make and this is one of the nicest.  It also looks pretty.  I will note, that even though it's called a 'spicy' apple cake, I don't think it is particularly spicy.

This is the second time I've made ever this cake.  The first time was one of the few times I'd deviated from making a vanilla sponge and it did not turn out as well as I wanted.  Everyone else thought it looked lovely and apparently it tasted really good because it was gone within a few hours. But I wished it had risen more.  This time around it rose well!  I was so pleased.  I did singe the bottom ever so slightly but other than that it was good!

And I finally have my oven thermometer!  So now my oven will definitely be the right temperature.  Yay!

Recipe - adapted from 175 Hot and Spicy Vegetarian 
  • 115g/4oz plain flour
  • 115g/4oz wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 225g/8oz cooking apples
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 175g/6oz light brown sugar
  • Grated rind of one small orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
For the topping:
  • 2 red eating apples
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 23cm/9inch cake tin.  Ideally a loose-bottomed one but if you don't have one that's fine (I didn't).  If it's a shallow tin then have the top of greaseproof paper finish above the rim of the tin.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder and spices into a bowl.  Scoop 2 tbsp of the mixture into a separate bowl.
  3. Peel, core and chop up the cooking apples, then toss them in the second bowl of flour mixture to coat them.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and orange rind until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat the eggs in a jug and then add them to the butter/sugar mixture gradually.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture, the chopped apple and the milk.
  7. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and level the surface.
  8. Core and thinly slice the eating apples.  I actually quartered my apples, sliced off the part of the core on each quarter and then sliced them.  Game me nice even slices.
  9. Toss the apples in orange juice and then set them in overlapping circles on top of the cake mixture, starting from the outside and working your way towards the centre, pressing down lightly as you go.
  10. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the surface and then bake for 1 - 1 and 1/4 hours, or until risen and cooked through.  If the apples start to brown too much, put foil over the top.
  11. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  12. Warm the apricot jam and then run it through a sieve.  Glaze the apples with the jam.

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