It was 23rd September yesterday, also the autumn equinox on both eastern and western calendar. As we bid farewell to summer, we begin to welcome in the colder seasons, looking forward to all of the exciting celebrations and festivals which are just around the corner.
Before this year's harvest festival, we had our first ever apple harvest. Although we haven't picked many apples so far, my life long desire of having my own apple tree has finally become a reality. Even though I'd been pleading with my husband long before he eventually gave in and helped me plant my beloved apple trees, I still have him to thank and be grateful for.
To celebrate the end of a productive season filled with hard work, I baked us an apple and cinnamon almond cake as a reward. However, before I had time to capture a few shots of the cake, the daylight began disappearing all too rapidly. I made my poor husband wait until the next day to enjoy a slice of the delicious looking cake, to allow me to take some better photos in the morning light. I didn't even have time to arrange my setup properly, as he was that keen he had brought tea and a knife to the table immediately, so I took the hint and finishing taking pictures very quickly indeed!
To be honest, I didn't want to prolong the wait any longer neither. The combination of apple and cinnamon is one of my favourites. What makes this cake so special is the slowly stewed apple which is folded into the cake mixture. Whilst it's being cooked on the stove, straight away the kitchen is filled with a warm and sweet aroma. and once the cake is baked, it was so soft, moist and scrumptious , you really have to have very good self control to stop yourself from having a second helping.
Enough said, let me share with you this wonderful recipe which can be repeated year after year, especially during this time of the year as the weather is beginning to get colder. I hope you like this recipe and if you bake this for the people you love, I'm sure your friends and family will be delighted to taste such a warm, soft and sweet apple cake!
- 小紅蘋果 3 個
- 檸檬汁 1 大匙
- 肉桂枝 1/2 條
- 無鹽牛油 unsalted butter 150g，軟化
- 黃幼砂糖 175g
- 蛋 4 隻，打發好備用
- 中筋麵粉 250g
- 發酵粉 (又稱泡打粉、蛋糕發粉等) baking powder 1 小匙
- 肉桂粉 1 小匙
- 杏仁粉 50g
- 小紅蘋果 3 個
- 杏果醬 2 大匙
- 20cm 彈簧張開的圓型烤盤 1 個，盤底鋪上烘焙紙。盤底，烘焙紙上和盤的四週都塗上牛油。
- 先做蘋果醬。把 3 個蘋果去皮去芯切薄片，放進小鍋中，加檸檬汁和肉桂枝煮沸後，蓋著用小火煮至蘋果軟綿成泥狀。關火，取起丟去肉桂枝，置一旁放涼備用。
- 預熱烤箱至 180C / 350F / Gas 4，把牛油和糖放進大碗中，用手提打蛋器打至淡色糊狀，蛋分次加入打勻。然後篩進麵粉，發酵粉和肉桂粉，再加入杏仁粉，用矽膠抹刀拌勻。量起 250g 的蘋果醬加入，拌至完全均勻。把粉漿倒入烤盤內，撥平。
- 將餘下的 3 個蘋果切開去心，每半個蘋果切開 2 份，每份切 3 片。把蘋果片在粉漿外沿排一圓圈。放進烤箱內的中層，烤 45 分鐘左右，用長竹韱插進抽出時沒黏物附著便成，若發覺頂部有開始烤焦的跡象，可以在最後 10 分鐘輕蓋上鋁箔紙。( 亦可用這溫度和時間：預熱烤箱至 160C / 325F / Gas3，烘 1 小時 15 分鐘左右，蛋糕入爐後半小時可在上面用錫紙蓋著以防烤得太深色。至用長竹籤剌進取出無黏物便成。)
- 把蛋糕取出置網架上放涼。把杏果醬放進小鍋中加 1 大匙水煮稀，用小掃子在蘋果、糕面和糕身四週均勻塗抹。再隨意在蛋糕中央灑下糖粉。
- 涼放後的蛋糕可在不透風的容器內保存 3 天。新鮮出爐時趁熱享用，可伴上 1 大匙鮮奶油更添美味。隔天吃時可直接冷吃或放進微波爐翻熱 3 - 4 分鐘，伴球冰淇淋非常好吃。
讀者回應和補充資料: Reader’s review and Additional information :
1 ) 這蛋糕沒用平時慣用的 self raising flour, 只用 plain flour, 還用了 250g 蘋果泥拌入，所以吃的時候口感是比較軟稔，沒有海綿蛋糕的鬆軟，但這是預期中的後果。
2) 我用 180C / 350F / G4 烤了 45 分鐘，完成品就如我的照片所示。但因烘焗時間因各烤箱性能不同，可嘗試改作：160C / 325F / Gas3，烘 1 小時 15 分鐘左右，蛋糕入爐後半小時可在上面用錫紙蓋著以防烤得太深色。至用長竹籤剌進取出無黏物便成。
- 3 Braeburn apples
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g ground almonds
for the topping
- 3 Braeburn apples
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
for the baking
- a 20cm spring-form cake tin, buttered and base lined with baking parchment
- Make the apple sauce first. Peel, core and thinly slice 3 Braeburn apples and place in a saucepan with the lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook gently until the apples are completely soft and have formed a thick sauce. Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and leave to cool while you make the batter.
- Heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Gradually add the eggs, beating continuously until thoroughly incorporated. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, add the almonds and fold together. Finally, measure 250g of the cooled apple sauce and fold through until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface.
- Quarter and core another 3 Braeburn apples and slice each quarter into 3. Arrange the apples in a circle on the outside edge of the cake batter. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. ( Or using a different setting : Pre - heat the oven to 160C / 325F / Gas 3. Bake in centre of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. When you insert a skewer into the cake and it comes out clean, then it's ready. Place a piece of foil on top of the cake half of an hour after it's in the oven.)
- Remove the cake to a wire rack to cool. Heat the apricot jam and 1tbsp water in a small saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Brush the surface of the cake liberally with the jam and leave to cool.
- The cake will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container. You can serve it as it is warm from the oven, or with a dollop of crème fraîche. If eaten the following day, can be heated up from the microwave for 3-4 minutes, serving with some ice-cream is also recommened.
Reader’s review and Additional information :
Many thanks to a dear reader’s feed back:
“ I made the apple cake tonight, but ended up having to bake it for nearly double amount of the recommended time, very strange. The batter seemed rather thick when the flour was first folded into the mixture, then when apple sauce was added, it was okay.I don’t know if the cooking time has altered the flavour of the cake, but it tasted fruity and not bad. I’m not sure if the texture is how it supposed to be, this cake is too dense to my liking, I prefer textures of cakes like sponge or chiffon cake. I don’t mind trying something different occasionally, personally this cake is too dense for me, can’t have too much. Most importantly, I don’t know if the texture and the taste of the cake are what is expected from a successfully baked cake! ”
I will answer her questions here for anybody who may be interested too :
1 ) I used plain flour instead of my usual choice of self-raising flour for this cake, and with the 250g of apple sauce added into the mixture, the texture of this cake is soft and not very airy, not as light and bouncy as a sponge cake, but that’s expected.
2) I baked my cake with 180C/ 350F / G4 for 45 minutes, the result was as my photos indicated. Since all ovens perform differently, you can try using a different setting to 160C / 325F / Gas 3. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. When you insert a skewer into the cake and it comes out clean, then it's ready.
The texture and taste of this cake is designed to be rather different compared to a sponge cake or a chiffon cake. If you prefer this type of texture, please refer to these two recipes :
Thank you very much for your attention and my dear reader's review.