Have I told you I really dislike apples? Well I do, there is just far too much effort involved in eating an apple, I’d much rather put my time into peeling an orange or stoning cherries then coring and chopping an apple. Although, if you cook an apple in sugar and butter before adding it to an all American apple pie or a quintessentially British crumble I’m all yours. In short, raw apples bad, cooked apples good!
After pancake day left me with another small glut of apples I thought I’d better put them to good use before they were cast into the bin, bruised and wrinkled. I sat down with a cup of tea and my monthly pile of foodie magazines looking for inspiration. Thankfully, my copy of Delicious came up trumps when I came across an article containing this spiced apple cake from Baking Made Easy’s Lorraine Pascale. It has everything I look for in an apple based dessert, apples stewed in butter and sugar, a deeply flavoured cake and, one of my favorites, maple syrup! I set about making it my own!
Spiced Apple Cake with Maple Syrup
200g unsalted butter
40g golden caster sugar
3 pink lady apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1tsp ground cinnamon
250g light brown sugar
2 large, free range eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
220g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
Good glug of maple syrup!
Preheat the oven to 160C / 140C Fan. Melt 50g of butter with the golden caster sugar in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan until the mixture starts to caramelise and turn golden. Add the sliced apple, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. Remove from heat and set aside.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
Grease a 20cm cake tin with a loose base and line the bottom with baking parchment. Cream together the remaining butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few minutes between each addition. Add the vanilla and 1tbsp of the maple syrup.
add the flour mixture and mix well to combine, then stir through the apples being careful not to break them up. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and prick the cake all over with a toothpick before pouring over the remaining maple syrup.