Monday, June 3, 2013

Cinnamon Cake with Spiced Apples

I told you it would start with cream butter and sugar! I never go back on promises. Ok that’s a lie. Sometimes I do when I promise I’ll go out with someone and then I make the mistake of getting into my lazy pants and socks that are so ridiculously comfy that I there is nothing on the planet you can offer me to take them back of and get into a tight dress and heels. But who hasn’t done that?!

So this cake. It’s fairly simple. But I am extremely poor this week. Thanks to a few extravagant gifts recently and about a million bills to pay, I’ll have no money for at least....oh the next century. So, I had to use what I had without buying any fancy ingredients.
Plus, I did say I’d bake a cake for a good friend for his birthday. Who lives in London. Any excuse right? I did send him photos though. I’m sure he appreciates my thoughtfulness, even if it’s slightly mean teasing him with cake photos.

When I was uploading these photos, I came to the appalling and highly embarrassing fact that it has been so long since I made anything chocolatey. What the what?! It’s all been healthy, fruity, spiced based things. What is that?!
I do eat chocolate. Why just last week I munched on (read: devoured in front of the tv by myself) a block of Whittaker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate and in the back of my freezer I have a supply of cake balls coated in chocolate (for those particularly rough days). So I do eat a large quantity of chocolate.

Hopefully by the time I next bake I’ll have a smidgen of money to go buy some chocolate to bake with. Or something just as awesome.
But for now, you will enjoy this delicious cake made in honour of my killer friend in London.

175g butter, at room temperature
1 & 3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbspn orange rind
3 eggs
1 & 3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup self raising flour
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
2 tspn cinnamon
3/4 cup mik
Spiced Apple
2 granny smith apples
1 tbspn maple syrup
1tbspn water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
190g shortening (or substitute butter, or a combination of the two)
500g icing sugar (not icing mixture)
1 tbspn meringue powder
Dash of vanilla extract
5-7 tbspn water

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the orange rind and beat for another minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Sift together the two flours, bicarb and cinnamon.
Reduce the beater speed and slowly add the flour, alternating with the milk.

Pour into a prepared pan and bake for 50mins.
Spiced Apple:

Peel and thinly slice the two apples.
Chuck into a small saucepan on low heat with the remaining ingredients. Stir to make sure the spices have covered the apple. Let cook for 10-15mins stirring occasionally.  Feel free to smash up the pieces with a fork if you prefer mush rather than pieces. Leave to cool.

Note: the following is a recipe for Wilton’s classic buttercream. I use a modified version (modified in that I just guess the measures) as I’ve done a few Wilton courses. Personally I think it’s amazing – much better than the simple methods. If you can get your hands on shortening and meringue powder I highly recommend it.

Sift the icing sugar and meringue powder.
Beat the shortening (with the butter if using a combination), vanilla and 1 tbspn water until it is smooth without lumps. There is a fine line here – you need it to be totally smooth, but if you overbeat it, it will start to separate. Watch it carefully.

Slowly add the sifted sugar. Add water to achieve the desired consistency. For this use, the icing can be thinner as you don’t need it to stand up, but for future uses, the thicker the consistency, the easier for creating piped decorations.

When the cake is cool, cut in half. A serrated knife works best.
Spread over the spiced apple, making sure to get to the edges. Pop his hat back on and frost the cake! Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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