Apple Cake with Brown Sugar and Treacle Icing
January 30, 2012 5 Comments
There is an expected amount of causality in cooking as in life. Want a nice body? Diet and exercise (or if you’ve got a wad of spare cash, lipo and pain). Want to get ahead in the world? Work your butt off.
So it follows, want to make superlative baked goods? You need a certain amount of skill (acquired over time) and some expensive kit comes in handy (Hello? Making marshmallows without a stand mixer? Much much harder.). So when I come across a recipe that is easy and fast to make, I am skeptical to the extreme. Regardless of my doubts, out comes a fluffy moist cake, not too sweet, enhanced by a spectacular icing that takes the cake from healthy tasting (think oven baked apples) to one of those cakes where you scrape maniacaly at any streaks of icing left on the plate.Frankly, it makes everything feel a little topsy turvy, like finding a €10 note on an empty street, making a show of bending down to pick it up. Pivoting on your planted feet this way and that, note held up high (as proof that you attempted to look for the person to whom it might belong) before shrugging your shoulders and tucking it into your pocket. You still feel a little guilty though, don’t you? That this good luck was bestowed on you while some poor sod is looking for his tenner (Unless it’s my husband. Walk behind him. He loses money every time he reaches into his pocket. Shall I describe him to you?)It’s criminal how easy this cake is to make. All you need is a wooden spoon and some bowls. I’ve made it in small bundt size cakes and halved the recipe so that it makes one flat cake in my sexy aluminum Hugo Braeuer tin (a small selection of which is available at the kitchen shop Kochtail in Mitte). I’ve gone ahead and typed out the recipe below exactly how I found it, in Good Food magazine. I’ve never made it with the walnuts, substituting almonds once and leaving it nut free the other time. Unless you are a nut fanatic, I find they aren’t necessary, the most important thing is the icing. Without it the cake is moist but doesn’t strike the right sweet note.I usually use a mix of apples, one of which is almost always a Pinova (a happy discovery I made Neumann’s when I first moved to Berlin).
300g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
140.0g dark brown soft sugar
50.0g golden caster sugar
250ml sunflower oil
3 unpeeled apples , coarsely grated
100 walnuts , roughly chopped
100g butter , softened
50g dark soft brown sugar
1 Tbs black treacle
200 full fat cream cheese
1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan. Line two 20cm cake tins. Put the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in a big bowl, then stir in the sugars, making sure there are no lumps of sugar. Add the oil, eggs and apples, and beat everything together. Fold in the walnuts then divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few mins in the tin then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
2. For the icing, beat all the ingredients together then chill until the mixture is thick but spreadable. Spread half the icing on top of one cake, sandwich with the other and spread the remaining icing on top