SLIDER

double apple crumble cake

23 May 2024

I bought a copy of Claire Saffitz's recipe book, Dessert Person, in 2021 and I've been meaning to make the Double Apple Crumble Cake from the book ever since. The sticking point was the apple butter, which I've never seen in the shops. I came home from Brisbane to find some very manky apples in my fridge, tracked down a recipe for apple butter and made a small batch. With apple butter at hand I had no excuse any more and set to making the cake.


I changed things a little as is my wont. Claire suggests using unsweetened and unspiced apple butter in the cake batter but I'd already made my apple butter before reading the recipe so I went with what I had. 



I have a really nice crumble recipe so decided to use my recipe instead of Claire's. I also had half a green apple left over, so sliced it thinly and topped the cake with the slices, then glazed the slices with some warmed apricot jam. Please don't feel you have to do this; I just didn't want the apple to go to waste.


Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here, which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.


Small Double Apple Crumble Cake – adapted from Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz
Crumble
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
60g raw sugar
2 heaped tbsp rolled oats
pinch of cinnamon 

Cake
25g unsalted butter
400g Pink Lady or Granny smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 5mm slices
130g plain flour
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp salt
110g apple butter (from specialty stores or recipe below)
110g caster sugar
60g sour cream
30g vegetable oil
1 large egg 
1 tsp vanilla extract

Crumble
Make the crumble by rubbing the flour and butter together, and stirring in the sugar, oats and cinnamon to make large crumbs. Place in the fridge until needed.

Cake
In a medium frypan, heat butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the apples and cook, tossing, until slices have begun to soften and turn slightly translucent, 10-15 minutes (it’s okay if some start to brown, which could happen when using drier, cold-storage apples). Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease base and sides of a 17-cm springform pan and line the base and sides with baking paper. Arrange an oven rack in the centre position.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarb soda, and salt to combine. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the apple butter, sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the apple butter mixture. Whisking from the centre of the bowl outward, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet just until you have an evenly mixed batter. Using a large flexible spatula, fold the cooled apples into the batter, leaving any liquid behind in the pan and mixing thoroughly to distribute the apples evenly.


Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle crumble evenly over the batter, breaking up any pieces larger than a marble. Bake until crumble is browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake slides easily through the apple slices and comes out clean, 1 hour 20 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut around the cake with a knife, then remove the ring. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into slices.




Apple butter, adapted from here.
750g mixed apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (reserve the cores)
½ cup apple juice 
1 tbs lemon juice
55g brown sugar
1 cinnamon quill, 1 star anise and 4 cloves placed in a small spice bag
pinch sea salt

Method
Place apple pieces and cores, apple juice and lemon juice in a large microwave safe bowl. Lightly cover and cook on high for 12-15 minutes or until apples begin to soften and fall apart. Remove from the microwave and discard cores. Blend softened apples in a food processor or use a stick blender and process until smooth. You should have about 2 cups of apple puree.

Place the puree plus brown sugar to taste, along with spices and salt  in a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Gently simmer, stirring regularly to avoid spattering, until apple butter is deep caramel in colour and thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon, about an hour. Remove the spice bag and transfer the apple butter to a jar or airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


As you'd expect from one of Claire's recipes it was absolutely delicious and just perfect for an autumn or winter dessert.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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chocolate cake with dark chocolate cream cheese icing

20 May 2024


My next door neighbours daughter will not eat fruit, even in cake form, so I need to consider that whenever I bake. The last few bakes have been fruit centred so I decided to make a chocolate cake so she wouldn't feel left out.



I turned to a Danielle Alvarez recipe from her latest book, Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking. As I'm now officially obsessed with the cream cheese icing from Beatrix Bakes, I whipped up (literally) a dark chocolate version with which to top the cake. The cake can be made as a layer cake, but I was in no mood for fiddling and made a single layer cake.


Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe. For a layer cake, divide the batter between two 16 cm round cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes and make a double batch of the icing.

Chocolate cake with dark chocolate cream cheese icing
Ingredients
37g Dutch cocoa powder
85g brown sugar
75g caster sugar
112 ml hot, freshly brewed coffee (decaf and/or instant also work here)
1 tsp vanilla extract
70 ml neutral oil, such as vegetable oil
1 egg, at room temperature
½ cup Greek yoghurt or milk
½ tsp white wine vinegar
125g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda 
½ tsp baking powder 
½ tsp fine salt

Icing
60g dark chocolate, 
broken into pieces (I used 52%)
12g Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g pure icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
60g cream cheese, at room temperature

Cake
Preheat oven to 180°C conventional. Grease and line the base of a 17cm deep cake pan with baking paper. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, combine cocoa and sugars. Pour in the hot coffee and whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add vanilla, oil, egg, yoghurt or milk and vinegar, then whisk until smooth. Lastly add in the flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and sea salt and, again, whisk until smooth.


Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan (about 1 hour) before making the icing. When cool, invert the cake onto a wire rack and remove the round of baking paper then turn right side up.


Icing
Place the chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second bursts until melted. Set aside to cool before making the icing. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cocoa powder, butter, icing sugar, vanilla, cream cheese and a pinch of fine sea salt and beat on medium-low speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and stir to combine.


To finish, you can slice the top of the cake off using a serrated knife to create a flat layer or leave it as is. Scoop the icing onto the cooled cake and spread it all the way to the edges. If making a layer cake, add half the icing to the top of one cake, spreading it all the way to the edges then lay the second cake on top and scoop the remaining icing onto the cake, spreading all the way to the edges. Slice and serve.

We all agreed that the star of the show was the icing so next time, I think a layer cake is the way to go. Expect to see another flavour of this icing on the blog very, very soon.

See you all again next week with some more fruit forward baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian
 


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dorset apple cake

13 May 2024


I've just returned to Sydney from a few weeks in Brisbane and Autumn clearly arrived while I was away. With the change of season, it's time to start baking with autumn and winter fruit. I have any number of apple cake recipes to share with you and the first one is my take on a Dorset Apple cake.


A Dorset apple cake is a classic English recipe which doesn't seem to have originated in Dorset. Whatever it's origin, it's a butter cake chock full of apples and I decided to top the cake with even more apples. Dorset Apple Cake can be served warm with cream as a pudding or can be served cold as cake.

Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here, which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.


Dorset Apple Cake - makes a 17cm cake
Ingredients
112g room temperature unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g green apples
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
112g caster sugar, plus extra for dredging
2 large eggs
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
15g almond meal
1 tbs demerara or raw sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease and flour a deep 17cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Peel, core and slice 1/2 an apple thinly. Sprinkle the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent them from browning and set to one side. Cut the remaining apple into 1 cm pieces, and toss with the remaining lemon juice.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter, caster sugar and lemon rind until pale and fluffy. As this is small cake, you could also use an electric hand beater for this step. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, adding a little flour with each addition to keep the mixture smooth
.


Sift the flour, the baking powder and salt into the bowl and fold in with the almond meal. Drain the apple pieces well, then stir into the mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, lightly level the top and top with the apple slices. Sprinkle the apple slices with the raw sugar then place the tin on the centre rack of the preheated oven.


Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until well-risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts to look a little too brown, cover with a sheet of baking paper after about 45 minutes.


Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Dredge heavily with the extra caster sugar then cut the cake into generous wedges and serve warm with a spoonful of double cream.


I shared the cake with my neighbours and it went down a treat. I mean, who doesn't like apple pudding with cream?

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now, 

Jillian
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