Hasn't it gone ridiculously cold recently?
I mean seriously- I know it's January, but I left work last night and headed straight into town to try to get myself a pair of gloves and something that will stop my ears falling off on my cold walk to work. I managed to find said things, and also managed to find not one, but four dresses I wanted, so into my shopping bag they went and I skipped home feeling mildly guilty but also pretty pleased with myself.
Our house is also a fairly chilly house, so I spend a lot of time padding around in slippers and an extra warm cardigan, clutching a cup of tea and wondering if I look anything like the picture below (with a mug)
Of course, I really look nothing like her and that's okay. Because if I imagine the girl in the picture probably thinks twice before eating a chunk of apple cake with her cup of tea, and I am not that sort of girl. No, I am the sort of girl who sees a bag of apples and thinks not "Oh apples, there's a good healthy treat!" but "Oh apples, that means I can make apple cake, or apple crumble, or apple flapjack, or..."
Seriously. I'm the girl who sees fruit and thinks "what sort of cake can I make with this".
On my hunt for the perfect apple cake recipe, I looked no further than Smitten Kitchen. Deb Perelman is kind of my go-to when it comes to recipes I think I want to make but am not certain of how to go about, or where else to look. And yes, she measures in cups and I have a slight aversion to cups for baking, but you know- I measured everything for this recipe using my new Emma Bridgewater breakfast cup and it worked perfectly. As long as you measure everything using the same cup, even if that is a mug not a standard measuring cup, chances are you'll be okay. And this cake is worth the measuring in a cup.
As an aside, the batter for this cake before you add the eggs is crazily thick. Like really thick. Go with it, and remember that the apples will add moisture to your mixture, so don't fret. And yes, I know mine is burnt on the bottom. The oven in the house is atrocious and upsets me greatly because it heats from the bottom, is temperamental, and doesn't make baking easy. But I promise- even if this cake gets a bit burnt on the bottom, it is still delicious. And I'm sure even Mary Berry has burnt a cake in her time (actually, I bet she hasn't but that's okay, I guess)
This is predominantly/ almost completely the same as Smitten Kitchen's Mom's Apple Cake, and therefore all credit goes to Deb Perelman. Reference your recipes people- if you don't, that's plagiarism and we all learnt at uni that that's a bad thing.
5 or 6 apples
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
2 cups sugar (I used one each of soft brown and caster)
1/4 cup orange juice
Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a 8 or 9inch tin, preferably loose bottomed and deep (if shallow, use two- it rises), with baking paper.
Begin by mixing your flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together your oil, sugar, and juice- actually do this in a separate bowl, it will work way better. Work your wet ingredients into your dry ones. It will look a bit like a biscuit dough but that's okay. Whisk your eggs together in a separate bowl, and add them to the mixture bit by bit, beating well after each addition. Set to one side.
Peel, core, and chop your apples into 1cm dice (approximately. Obviously don't get your ruler out!)- work quickly or they will go brown. Put them all into a bowl, and pour your sugar and spices over the top. Mix well to combine.
Pour a good load of your batter into your tin, then remember you were meant to put the apples in halfway up. Add about half- two-thirds of your apples, then pour the remaining batter on top, and top with the remaining apples. Bake for around an hour- hour and a half (it's worth it) or until a skewer comes out clean. If it's browning too quickly on the top, tent some foil over it to give it a bit of protection.