Apple, Cinnamon & Almond Cake
I've just stepped back inside, washed the dirt from my hands, heated a splash of almond milk, matcha, and a dash of maple in my little black pot and I have managed to somehow nab the very last slice of apple cake which in this household is quite unheard of. What with being surrounded by sweet-toothed family members these sweet offerings often go amiss within the blink of an eye. However, on this occasion, they are not home and so I am claiming it to be mine.
There is something about being out in the garden, pulling weeds, sowing seeds, and turning soil that has my appetite craving tea and cake. Looking out over an empty compost-laden garden bed awaiting the arrival of tomato seeds. playing out the early stages of seed germination in my imagination - beginning under the soil where soon enough tall spires of larkspur covered in shades of deep indigo, dusky lavender, and light purple flowers together with the antique raspberry-hued petals of Queen Red Lime zinnias will sprout (hopefully). The way the spring sunshine slants downwards upon new shoots of greenery, droplets of water glistening as they cling to leaves after a final soak from the hose. It all leaves me feeling satisfied and looking forward to a shower.
I am making a mental note to reserve the remaining Granny Smith apples perched on the bench for another apple cake. Beau and Vivvy helped me with the first one as we were guided by Belinda Jeffery's recipe for Kim's delicious apple, cinnamon, and pecan cake in Belinda's trusty baking bible, Mix & Bake. We ended up swapping a few things here and there - almond meal in place of roasted pecans (for the sheer convenience as I had two small children who were very quickly resembling snow people whilst "playing" with the flour) a good glug of thickened cream (because it had passed its best before date) and a large handful of white chocolate (my cake-batter taste testers insisted it really needed chocolate) and a shower of flaked and slivered almonds. The result is a gorgeous tender crumb with just the right amount of sweetness, which makes it the perfect little something to end a day in the garden with.
Apple, cinnamon & almond cake
makes a 23cm round cake
Inspired and adapted from Belinda Jeffery's "Kim's delicious apple, cinnamon and pecan cake" Page 114 Mix & Bake.
approx 350g granny smith or golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 2cm chunks
200g caster sugar
1 tsp bi-carb soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
225g plain flour
140g almond meal
75g white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
130g unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup flaked almonds
icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat your oven to 160c (fan). Butter a 23cm round cake tin and line the base with buttered baking paper, then dust the tin with flour, shaking off any excess.
combine the apples and sugar in a bowl until well coated.
Place the bi-carb, spices, flour, and almond meal into a bowl and whisk together well. Tip the apples and sugar into the flour mix and stir to combine, followed by the chocolate, and stir again.
Whisk the egg, vanilla, and butter together and pour over the apple mixture, stir until just combined, and then add the cream and stir again until everything is well combined.
Spoon into your prepared cake tin, smooth out the top, and scatter over the almonds. Place into the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the sides of the cake to loosen before turning out onto a cooling rack. Turn the top side up again and allow to cool to room temperature.
When ready to serve, place onto a pretty platter, or cake stand, dust with a shower of icing sugar, and enjoy as is or with a generous dollop of creme fraiche or cream. I imagine a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would get the seal of approval too.
This cake will sit happily in an airtight container, at room temperature for at least 3 days.