Sunday, 16 June 2013

Apple and spice loaf cake




Today is Father’s Day, and therefore I tried to choose a cake that the CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) would favour.  He likes the more old-fashioned fruit cake style of baking but I didn’t want to make a dark and heavy fruit cake as I think of those as Christmas specialities.




This recipe uses plenty of dried fruits but is lightened by the addition of apple and almond.  It’s lovely plain but I prefer it with a generous layer of butter spread over it; that touch of saltiness brings out all the flavours.  The gentle spicing makes it moreish and comforting.




I’m not sure you’d know there was grated apple in the loaf but it did provide a softer and lighter texture than other tea loaf cakes I have tried in the past.  The quickest way to make a cake look professional?  Jam glaze:




I definitely need to make more loaf cakes – they have to be the easiest cakes to cut; none of this ‘have I found the centre of the cake’ faffing and producing huge slices on one side of the cake and tiny ones on the other!



Happy Father’s Day CCD!




Ingredients

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g light muscovado sugar, plus an extra tablespoon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 dessert apple – I used a Pink Lady
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g mixed dried fruits – I used raisins and sultanas
85g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
175g plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
optional: 1 tablespoon apricot jam

To serve: butter


Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and light.  I left my stand mixer to do this while I prepared the apple.

Place some cold water in a bowl and add the lemon juice (this is purely to stop the apple browning).

Peel the apple and cut into quarters.

Remove the core and slice two of the quarters thinly, placing in the lemon water.

Place the remaining two quarters into the water.

Beat the eggs, one at a time, into the butter mix.

Beat in the vanilla.

Remove the two quarters of apple from the bowl and stand them on kitchen paper to soak up the water.

Add the dried fruits and almonds to the batter and stir in.

Grate the two quarters of apple into the batter.  I did it directly over the mixing bowl so I didn’t lose any of the juice on the work top.

Stir thoroughly.

Add the baking powder, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and fold in.

Spoon into the prepared baking tin and level the surface.

Place the apple slices across the top of the loaf.

Sprinkle over the extra tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/fan oven 120°C/275°F/gas mark 1.

Cover the cake with foil and bake for a further 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  (NB. If at the end of the cooking time the cake batter is still uncooked, increase the temperature back to the original 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4, remove the foil and give it a further 10 minutes – I had to do this).

Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

If you wish to give the cake a shiny top, heat the apricot jam until it is runny.

Brush it over the top of the cake and leave to set.

Serve in generous slices either plain or with butter.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.


Eat.

7 comments:

Debs Dust Bunny said...

Beautiful... hubby would love this! His two favourite cakes are Cinnamon Apple and Fruit Cake. : )

Cakelaw said...

Ths looks amazing - apple and almond is a winner with me. And I agree that loaf cakes are a breeze to slice.

Katie said...

I love it for the name alone! The cake looks delicious and just my kind of thing. Lovely presentation.

Miss C Flash said...

I really like your cake, it looks so moist and tasty and i'm sure it made a great fathers day treat. x

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

This looks delicious - a very paternal cake that I'm sure my OH would love, too. :)

Chocolate Shavings said...

LOVE the apple slices on top!

Jo said...

This looks great, I love the shiny glaze on top. I made a spiced apple bundt cake last year which had grated apple in the batter and it definitely gave a lovely soft texture to the cake.