I think I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I miss slow cooked beef and ale stew, spicy chili, blueberry pancakes with butter and syrup, belgian waffles, hot chocolate with whipped cream and toasted marshmallows, bacon sausage and eggs for breakfast, meatballs in marinara sauce, cheesy lasagne, steak and kidney pie, ox tail casserole, hot meat sandwiches, pork and apple pasties, warm apple pie, toasty cinnamon rolls washed down with a salted caramel and nutmeg mocha, french onion soup, braised lamb shanks, pan fried pigeon, sticky toffee pudding, roast chicken, baked potatoes with sour cream, cheese and chives, rhubarb crumble, and the list goes on. In fairness I don’t recall complaining too profusely while glugging down ice cold beer and scoffing barbecued bugers and sausages on warm summer nights. Either way I’m happy winter is here and all the food that comes with it.
If you’re like me you’ve probably spent a lot of time browsing beautiful looking food websites and blogs salivating at pictures of things like freshly fried doughnuts, peach blueberry pie, baked chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, chicago deep dish pizza, devil’s food cake, and…fine I’ll stop now, I just get carried away sometimes. Also like me you may have thought to yourself how much you’d like to make all these glorious things and even been so organised as to save the recipes but never quite got round to ever starting them. You attempted to start the apple and rhubarb crumble but realised you were without cinnamon and cloves and well, your endeavor was over before it started. Fear not because if I can break the habit of laziness in the kitchen then just about anyone can.
I got home late-ish from work the other evening toying with the idea of some kind of lemon or apple cake.
I browsed through my recipe collection (don’t worrry I’ve only attempted about 5% of them as well) and decided on this spiced apple cake because it was another excuse to use cinnamon and I had all the ingredients at hand. Oh and it’s a really simple recipe that doesn’t call for any glazes, proofing or water baths, basically any time consuming or awkward processes. I may have broken a habit of a lifetime but I’m still pretty darn lazy.
What you need is:
A 9x5x3 inch cake tin (1.5 litre approximately) The original recipe calls for a 3l bundt pan so I’ve addapted the quantities.
-15g salted or unsalted butter
-2/3 cooking apples or tart granny smiths, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
-15g granulated sugar
-85g unsalted butter
-2 large eggs at room temperature
-55g pitted. chopped dates (optional) I didn’t use any
-210g plain flour
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 tablesponn baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Melt 15g butter in a pan and sauté apples over medium-high heat
2. When cooked through add 15g sugar to the pan and cook until apples develop a nice glaze
3. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F and butter and flour the cake tin
4. Beat the 85g butter and 175g sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time
5. If using dates, toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon flour
6. In a seperate bowl sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon
7. Stri half the dry ingredients into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Add the buttermilk and mix, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Do not overmix, small dots of flour are normal
8. Fold in the cooled, cooked apples and dates.
9. Cook for about 45 mins or until done. Check with a skewer or toothpick, if it’s clean after being inserted its done.
10. Dust with icing sugar if you’re bothered or if you’re sharing and not a pig like me then a buttercream frosting would look like you made a lot of effort.