Friday, October 31, 2008

Angry Apple Spice Cake

The name of this cake comes from a story my mom was telling me and my friend Kathleen earlier today about my brother saying that some Yankee-style sweets, such as hermits or gingerbread, taste "angry." Then we started talking about other old-man desserts, and spice cake started to sound pretty good. It is so often overlooked and underrated, but we're bringing spicy back... to cake... in this one.

Angry Apple Spice Cake

For the apples:
3-4 apples (we used Cox)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Melt butter in skillet, then add the apples, syrup and sugar. Stir around and cook until soft and the apples have some color. Set these aside while you make the cake, unless your friend is over to make them at the same time!

For the cake:
310 g plain, all-purpose flour
30 g cornstarch
20 g baking powder
3 g salt
3 g ground cinnamon
3 g ground nutmeg
1 g ground cloves
100 g granulated sugar
125 g soft or slightly melted margarine
235 ml milk
3 large eggs
10 ml vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated ginger
100 g Bramley apple sauce (or regular)
190 g light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius, 160 for fan oven. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through granulated sugar) in a large bowl. Add the margarine to that and mix.

Lightly beat the eggs and add the milk and vanilla to that, followed by the ginger. Fold half of the liquid into the dry mixture, then add the apple sauce and brown sugar. Fold the other half of liquid into the batter until just blended.

Pour half of the batter in the pan, then evenly drop the apples on top of them. Then cover those apples with the other half of the batter and bake for 30-40 minutes (my oven has a fan, so it bakes quite fast, but it might take longer in other ovens).

For lemony cream cheese drizzle:
50 g light cream cheese
20 g golden syrup
2 tablespoons icing sugar
squeeze of lemon
Combine the cream cheese and syrup until smooth, then add some icing sugar (more or less to taste). Finish with a squeeze of half a lemon and stir. As the name states, it should drizzle (not plop) off the spoon, so if it doesn't, add a tiny bit of water at a time until it does. Then drizzle over the cake while it is still warm (cooled for about 10 minutes).

Serve warm (hot and bothered?) if possible. Like all angry cakes, it is great with tea. We had it with rooibos chai.