Sunday, 7 September 2008

Toffee apple cake

What grabbed my attention with this cake was that the toffee apple topping was on both sponges, not just the top layer. The apples bake in brown sugar as the cake cooks and you end up with caramelised apples not dissimilar to tarte tatin but with absolutely none of the faff!

Here are the apples in the tins before being topped with cake batter:

These shots shows the ‘tarte tatin’ look of the cake:

I think that sponge, apple and cream is a marriage made in heaven and it shows that – British Royal family aside - three in a marriage can sometimes work. But I digress...

The toffee oozes into the sponge and is sticky, sweet and scrummy. You may also notice that I don't believe in skimping on the filling:

The recipe said to sandwich the layers with whipped double cream. I’m sure that would be divine, but I tweaked it slightly and added some good quality fresh custard. I use custard cream a lot for accompanying cakes – basically it’s whipped cream with spoonfuls of custard beaten in to it.

This cake defines “squidgy”. When you cut slices the cream gently oozes out at the edges

One tip – when the cakes are baking, some of the brown sugar leaks out of the tin (if you use a loose bottomed tin). Stand the tins on a baking sheet to stop this making a mess.

Note to optimistic work colleagues: you won’t be seeing this cake tomorrow. Sorry.

For the cakes:
3 small eating apples (I used Pink Lady)
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
175g self raising flour

For the filling (and also serving cream):
600ml double cream
500ml fresh custard
Dash of vanilla extract

For the topping:
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line the bases of two 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper.
- Peel and core the apples then slice them thinly. Toss them in the brown sugar until well covered.
- Arrange the apple slices in the base of each tin.
- Now make the sponge: Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding some of the flour if the mix starts to curdle.
- Beat in the remaining flour.
- Divide the batter between the two tins and spread carefully so as not to disturb the apple slices. Level the surfaces.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Mine took 37 minutes.
- Place the tins on a wire rack and leave to cool before turning out of tins. If you turn the cakes out too soon the toffee apple won’t be set and could slide off the top of the cakes!
- Lightly whip the cream then gradually add spoonfuls of custard. This is not an exact science – add as much as you think the cream can hold without turning runny. It’s not difficult though and there’s no need to be frightened!
- Sandwich the cakes together with as much of the custard cream as you think necessary. Put the rest in a bowl for people to help themselves when you serve the cake.
- Mix together the icing sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Beth said...

This looks great. I love apple cake

trashalou said...

Ooo! A fabulous adaption od Dorset Apple Cake may we say? Just to keep the natives happy down this way? ;-)

Llamabean said...

We have just started to have apples available at our farmer's market, I can't wait to try this out. It looks incredible!

Katie said...

oh my! That looks utterly divine. Definitly on my 'to bake' pile