Come Autumn, I think I could easily bake apple cake every single weekend. We have three apple trees, all producing continuous fruit for several weeks. One counter in our kitchen is currently just a pile of apples in various bowls, baskets and bags – it’s like living in a farmers market. We have several types of apples – from small, sweet red ones to big green cooking apples. And this excess apple supply means getting a touch inventive with our fruit! Grated apple and yoghurt is my new favourite food. Sausage rolls with apple and onion make a perfect packed lunch. Baked apples stuffed with mincemeat or sultanas served with cream are best eaten slowly in front of Downton Abbey on a Sunday evening. But, sometimes, a good old hearty apple cake is just the thing.I’ve made apple cakes before but there seem to be so many variations out there I know this won’t be my last. This cake is different because of the two flavours that share the stage with the apple – the maple syrup and fresh ginger. The maple syrup adds a caramel flavour and richness to the cake, whilst the ginger adds spice and warmth.The recipe originally stated that the maple syrup should just be poured on top of the baked cake, but I have an issue with ingredients in the title of a dish not actually being in it. Also, the cake batter was really dry – practically a dough – so I wanted to loosen it, so I added around 2tbsp of maple syrup to the cake. This cake is versatile as it keeps well and is good warm out the oven with crème fraiche but also sturdy enough to be eaten cold in your hand the next day. Overall, I liked this cake as a sweet treat but would not say it was the best apple cake ever. Which means that I still need to bake more apple cakes to find that winner! Well, those apples won’t cook themselves…
Monday, 24 October 2011
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Monday, 10 October 2011
which was Amee! Congratulations! Please email me with your address and that lovely little book will be finding its way to you very soon. Now, back to those biscuits…I first saw these on Simon Hopkinson’s television show a few weeks ago and was instantly struck by their simplicity. In just a few minutes and a few pulses of the food processor – the dough is made! My family loves anything cheesy – cheese scones, cheesy pasta or cheese soufflé (although that’s just my parents – I can’t stand it!) so I knew these would go down well. And they definitely did! Whilst I was photographing them we just kept wanting to eat more and more. It is categorically impossible to eat just one of these, I promise. The dough is full of parmesan and cheddar, then sprinkled with more parmesan, plus the dough has a pinch of cayenne pepper. The parmesan gives them a salty edge, the cayenne a touch of heat. The teaspoon of mustard powder that goes into the dough emphasises the flavour and I’m sure the mix would be very adaptable to whatever hard cheeses you have or like. The biscuits get crisp, lacy edges and slightly chewier tops where the cheese topping melts. They also make the house smell divine after their just six minutes of baking. Tempted yet? Here’s the recipe – enjoy!