Friday, 10 February 2012

Apple and Cider Cake

After recently watching a contestant on a popular TV food competition make an (admittedly rather terrible) apple cake, I was compelled to come up with something similar of my own. This apple cake uses still cider (which you should be able to get in most supermarkets) to help boost the flavour as well as give the cake a lovely syrupy moistness and I've not bothered with cinnamon or any spices. You can add some gentle spicing if you'd like but I think leaving it out lets the zingy freshness of the apples and cider come through beautifully. I've used Cox's apples but you can use whatever you'd prefer, although I'd avoid cooking apples.

Prep Time: 15 Mins
Baking Time: 90 Mins
200g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
175g Light Muscovado Sugar (Plus 2tbsp)
4 Medium Eggs
160g Ground Almonds
200ml Still Cider
160g Plain Flour
150g Sultanas
4 Good sized Apples (Peeled and cored)

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and grease/line the base of a 23cm springform tin. Cream together the butter and sugar (not the 2tbsp!), taking care to make sure any lumps are beaten out. Mix in the the eggs one at a time then fold through the ground almonds. Pour in half the cider, give it a gentle mix, then do the same with the flour. Repeat for both until you are left with a smooth, fragrant batter. Take two of the apples, chop them into small cubes and toss them in with the sultanas. Mix it into your batter, gently but thoroughly, then spoon into your prepared tin. 

Slice the remaining apples thinly, then in a fresh bowl toss them around in the 2tbsp of sugar you have left over. Arrange them on top of the cake. You can make whatever pattern you like on top, as long as it's completely covered with sticky sweet sliced apple. Bake the cake in the centre of the over for around 90 minutes, by which time the top would have turned a light golden with a few apples just starting to catch and caramelise around the edges. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then carefully turn out onto a plate. Yum!

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