Monday, 9 December 2013

Almond Apple Cake : two ways

Another of those I got some apples reduced from the supermarket because they were bruised and now I need to make something with them before they go yucky - I know, I'll put them in cake recipes.  Didn't someone say something once about necessity being the mother of all inventions?  Well, yellow stickers are the mother of all experimental cooking sessions in my kitchen.

Easy peasy, this one.

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Short Version :

Make cake batter (equal weights marg / sugar / flour / eggs).  Add anything you can find that is almond-ish.  Pour into cake tin, add apple, cook.  Eat.

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Slightly More Thorough Version :          

Ingredients :
  • 250g marg
  • 250g sugar
  • four eggs
  • 250g self raising flour
  • two heaped tablespoon of ground almond
  • teaspoon of almond extract
  • 80g (ish) grated marzipan found hiding at the back of the fridge (much easier to grate if you stick it in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for ten minutes first)
  • four slightly worse for wear apples (hence impromptu experimental cooking session), peeled / cored / sliced
  • flaked almonds (to scatter on the top)

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For both versions, here's what to do :

Cream the marg and sugar - leave it beating while you turn on your oven (170°c fan, 190°c non-fan), and sort out your tins - for this amount of mixture I used a loose bottomed 25cm square tin, as well as five out of eight sections of my new multi mini loaf tin from Asda, which is officially a brownie pan according to their website (that keeps crashing so I can't post the link)!

Mix your flour, ground almond and marzipan together in a bowl - if any of your marzipan has clumped together try and break it up - the flour should coat it and stop any more of it melding together.

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Add one egg at a time (keep the mixer going), followed by a spoonful of the flour mixture, then the next egg and so on.  While you juggle eggs and flour put the almond extract in at some point too.  Once the eggs are all in toss the rest of the flour mix in.  It will still look a little lumpy, but that's fine - there should be lots of little marzipan lumps, you don't want it smooth - check out the top left picture below (but ignore the colour - camera having a slight temper tantrum!)

(This is where the two ways bit comes in - what follows is the second half of version one)

Put approximately two thirds of the mixture into the tin, and push it into the corners, trying to make it fairly level.  Lay the apple slices evenly on top of this layer.

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Spread the rest of the mixture on top, trying not to move the apple around too much.  Sprinkle some flaked almonds on the top, and get that cake into the oven.  Give it 25 to 30 minutes, and once it's out of the oven let it cool in the tin (if you can bear to keep your mitts off).

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(This is the second half of version two)

I think this is what I'd do next time - less fiddly and just as delicious.  It's all the same to make the batter, but you're going to be spreading it out more, so if you don't have a fancy 'brownie pan' (I still reckon multi mini loaf tin sounds better, and more accurate as I usually use it to make little loaves of bread - really little!) then you need to think what you're going to put it in.  For the amount of mixture it makes I would use my 25cm square loose bottomed tin and my 20cm square one.  

Follow the main method section, up until it says the following is for version one, then jump down to here instead.

So, cake batter in first, just divide it up between whatever tins or pans you're using.  If it helps I'd make it about five or six cm deep.  Level it out, then add a layer of apple slices (just push them into the batter a little), sprinkle flaked almonds on the top, then into the oven.  The timing depends on your oven, but since they're fairly thin I'd say around 20 minutes should do it (170°c fan, 190°c non fan, the same as the other one).

The photo up there, the one at the bottom right corner - there's a very good reason that it looks like someone has taken a bite or two out of it ... it's because I took a bite or two out of it.  And it was delicious, thank you very much!

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Questions you might have (and their answers) :

How do I store my almond apple cake?

  • You don't.  You change into your loosest jeans, then just sit yourself down and eat it all up.
  • If you can't quite manage to finish it off, any leftovers can go into (ready for the cliché?) an airtight container.

Can I put it in the freezer?

  • Yep.  If you're going to freeze it then try and do it the day you make it, and make sure if it isn't in a container then you've wrapped it up well.
  • To defrost, take it out of the freezer (duh) and put it in the fridge overnight, or somewhere out of the reach of pets and toddlers and teenagers for a couple of hours.  Or if you are an impatient sort, take it out of the freezer and microwave it - be warned though, if you microwave it you should eat it right then - don't microwave it and then eat it the next day - it will be hard and really not that yummy.
  • I'm sure official food expert-y people would tell you that it can only be frozen for up to a month, but hey, you're a grown up, you can make your own decisions.  I would write happy leave it in there for six months, but that's me!

How long will it keep?

  • Depends on how many pets and toddlers and teenagers you have.
  • It will taste best the day you make it, but still okay for another two or three days.  Because it is quite a moist cake (does anyone else think moist sounds slightly rude?  No?  Okay.  Just me.) I really would err on the side of caution - personally I would be devastated if I saved a bit for another day and then, when I went to get it, found it had gone a bit mouldy.

What should I eat it with?

  • A spoon.  I'm joking.  Obviously you should eat it with your fingers.
  • Ooh ooh ooh - custard.  Mmmmm.
  • Or runny tinned milk (also known as evaporated milk)
  • Or ice cream.
  • Or actual cream.
  • So, anything really.  
  • You could have it warm (or cold) in a bowl with cream or whatever, or have a slice with a cup of tea for elevenses.  Or supper.  Or breakfast.
  • You get the idea.  Enjoy.

So, of you'd like to see more recipes like this, there a space in the right side bar to enter your email address, and every new post will wing it's way into your inbox.  You'll have a confirmation email first though, so click it when it comes through.  

I'm on Twitter too, as (wait for it...) @abstractLucas, so I'd love to hear from you there - let me know if almond apple cake floats your boat (or if it doesn't - I can take it!)

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