Friday, 29 October 2010

Spiced Apple Cake

apple spice cake iced 1
Erm, yeah, so it's been a while since I did one of these post malarkies! Oops... Life kinda got in the way there. Speaking of which... We got married!
One of the professional wedding shots in Postmans Park
I can highly recommend it - we had the best day and were so lucky to have so many of our friends there to celebrate with us. We also moved! Here's a pic of the new 'hood.
View across Surrey from Richmond Park
Another view across Surrey from Richmond Park
Looks like we live in the country, right? Well... We cheated - we moved south of the river to a stunning part of London called Richmond. Just about the prettiest place within the M25. And it's still on the underground (so within the civilised world) but with parks and wildlife and stuff. Squirrels! And deer!
a squirrel in Richmond Park
Richmond Park Deer
And I baked! And you should bake too. Seriously, go to the nearest supermarket/farmer's market/member of your family's house with an obliging tree and get some apples - you really really want to bake this. It's made our flat smell like Christmas and I can't tell you how excited that's made me! Only 8 weeks to go...  Granted, there's a small amount of hassle with the apple puree making, but it's super easy and I could eat the stuff neat. Apart from that (and hey, you could just buy pre-made puree. I won't tell a soul, I promise) it's a breeze to make and is sooooo moist and tasty. Amazing with or without the icing but hey, I've never been one to turn down a perfectly good opportunity to slather a cake with cream cheese icing...

Rosy x
apple spice cake
Spiced Apple Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

260g Plain Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
115g unsalted butter at room temp
218g light brown sugar (I didn't have any to hand so I used about 160g dark brown and topped up with caster sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
365g unsweetened apple sauce

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line a cupcake pan with liners or grease a 9" square pan*.

First, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Then place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer and beat until paler in colour and fluffy, around 3 mins (or use a hand mixer or good old elbow grease).

Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then beat in the apple sauce and vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mix until just combined, careful not to overmix. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 mins, until springy to the touch and a cocktail stick comes out clean.

Cool completely before icing.

*You could probably use almost any shape of pan you fancy for this - I used a large canele mould as I've just bought one and couldn't resist, but this would work in a circular pan too. Or even a bundt pan - the recipe would probably need to be tripled for that.

Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g cream cheese

In a stand mixer beat the butter and icing sugar together. Add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Chill thoroughly if you want to pipe it or just spread straight onto the cakes if you can't wait that long!