This is a joy of a cake. Classic, easy to make, tasty (boyfriend approved), and contains apple. I am now trying to think of a cake that contains apple and is not nice. I’m not sure there is one.
I found the recipe in a really comprehensive baking book Leiths Baking Bible. I’m not the biggest fan of naming a book after a bestselling work of fiction, but I think this one is a real classic in its category. I will explore it more, in search of more complicated bakes that the mainstream cookbooks dare not present to their three-ingredient-magic-cake audience.
The one thing I would emphasize is that the ingredients, especially butter, must be at room temperature.
The recipe makes a 23 cm cake; at first, I thought this must be a round mould, but it is not really clear from the recipe—it could also be a 23 cm square mould. In any case, I went for a heart-shaped Ikea silicone mould because I could. I have since made it in the 23 cm round mould, and it worked fine.
2 medium dessert apples
170 g room temperature butter
170 g caster sugar
grated zest of one orange
3 room temperature eggs, beaten
170 g self raising flour (or regular flour with a teaspoon of baking powder)
115 g ground almonds
50 ml milk
3 tablespoons apricot jam
1/2 tablespoon orange juice
1. Heat the oven to 190˚C. Grease your mould.
2. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Make several cuts in the rounded side of each apple, but don’t cut all the way through.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the orange zest. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Mix the flour and the almonds together and add to the mixture. Stir well and add the milk.
4. Put the cake mixture in the prepared mould and spread flat. Place the apple pieces in equidistant intervals on the cake mixture, cut side up. Press them into the mixture slightly.
5. Place in the centre of the oven and bake 45 – 60 min. The cake is cooked when the top springs back when pressed lightly with a finger. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes in the mould before carefully [carefully! not like me—see the photo for evidence] turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Put the jam and orange juice into a saucepan. Bring to boil and sieve into a bowl. Cool until it is warm and brush over the top of the cake. [For some reason, the boyfriend does not like this glaze, so I omitted it. A friend of his shares this sentiment. I disagree.]