There were still several apples left over from the Easter Bilpin weekend. And these already turned out 4 batches of apple crumble given to friends! What else is there left to do with these apples was something I had been hunting from books the past week. And an invitation to a children's birthday party (CJ Catipon's) last weekend was a timely event to try on the Moist Apple Cake from Sweet Comfort Food - Glorious Desserts and Treats like Mother Used to Make. Bring some cake for the grown ups to try. Hmmmm.
Of course, it was just the normal flurry in the kitchen, after doing the usual vacuuming,-laundry-tidying weekend. I didn't make much of it considering it was my first time to actually make "cake" from scratch. After 30 minutes, the house was beginning to smell of a delicious aroma. And then after 50 minutes this was replaced by wows and oohs and aahs, as my own family complimented the gorgeous looking cake.
It is a simple recipe that requires very little effort and equipment. No need for electric mixers or high-tech kitchen top kinds. The only major effort here is the "rubbing in" technique, of which I found an easier description in the Usborne Farmyard Tales Children's Cookbook (I wonder why? tee hee.)... and to quote;
1. Use a blunt knife to mix pieces of margarine or butter with the flour. Stir and cut until the pieces are coated with flour.
2. Then, rub the pieces between your fingertips. As you rub, lift the mixture up and let it fall back into the bowl.
3. Carry on rubbing in the butter or margarine until it is completely mixed in and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs."
Here is the rest of the recipe. Variations in the measurement also included):
225g/8oz/2 cups self-raising flour
good pinch of salt
pinch of ground cloves (I replaced this one with ground cinnamon as this was the only one I have available in our pantry)
115g/4oz/ 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 cooking apples
115g/4oz/ generous 1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs, beaten
a little milk to mix
granulated sugar to sprinkle over
1 Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F / Gas 5, and butter a 20cm/8inch round cake tin (pan).
2. Sift the flour, salt and ground cloves into a bowl. Cut in the butter and rub in until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Peel and core the apples. Slice them thinly and add to the rubbed in mixture with the sugar.
3. Mix in the eggs and enough milk to make a fairly stiff dough, then turn the mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack. When cold store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
This cake is absolutely delicious. The sprinkled sugar makes for a crunchy top and the combined apple and cake is the moistest dessert there is. Probably best served with coffee, tea of some ice cream on the side.