Aha! You thought I’d gone away for the summer but I have one last trick up my sleeve before taking my self imposed August blog break. I realised I still hadn’t entered English Mum’s Big Bake Off and that this nutty apple loaf was just the ticket.
This is the cake that I made for the foodbloggers’ Masterchef event at the Miele showroom earlier this month. I brazenly lied to Mr Egg and Mr Toad that the cake only required 30 minutes in the oven, I knew full well it needed a good 45 but since I didn’t watch the show I didn’t realise contestants normally only get 60 minutes and had only skim read my email with the timings absorbing just the bare facts “you’ll be cooking between 2 and 4pm” blah blah blah.
It was with mild panic therefore that I realised 90 minutes before leaving the house that a) my apples in the fruit bowl had gone a funny colour and b) we had 60 minutes not 2 hours to make two items. My other item if you’ve not seen the previous post was Hazelnut French Macarons which were a foolhardy enough thing on their own.
Still, all that’s history now and it worked out fine. I’m not sure if Egg and Toad were just being polite or sarcastic when they said that the good thing about cake mix was that it tasted good even if it wasn’t cooked. They should know – cheeky so and so’s kept dipping spoons in my bowl throughout!
Anyway, just to prove that this cake recipe does work, here is the cooked version for your delectation.
I am supposedly signing off now during August for a technical break to finish my new WordPress site although I will be bribing all you folks to remember me by running a couple of giveaways in the meantime.
Starting today with….
I am giving away my copy of The Masterchef Cook Book, signed by Greg Wallace and John Torode. This giveaway is open to all readers with a UK mailing address. International readers are also welcome to comment however they will receive an alternative lightweight mystery prize if they win the giveaway. The first UK reader drawn will receive the Masterchef book. The winner will be chosen using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post on this blog.
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf
140g soft light brown sugar
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
140g wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g roughly chopped walnuts
100g Hotel Chocolat caramel drops or chocolate chips
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped into smallish pieces (smaller than butter beans but bigger than kidney beans).
You will need a 23 x 13 loaf tin, greased and lined with baking parchment
1. Preheat the oven to 170c / Gas Mark 3. Using an electric mixer (freestanding or handheld), beat the butter, sugar and jam until pale and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs one at a time making sure that all the batter around the edge of the bowl is getting incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon then beat in the butter and sugar mixture. Stir the nuts, caramel drops and chopped apple into the batter by hand until mixed in.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a palette knife. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until brown and the sponge feels firm. A skewer should come out clean although there will be some molten chocolate.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for a while before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. This is a moist cake and keeps beautifully in a tin for 4-5 days.