The smell of spiced apples and caramel means that Autumn is definitely here.
This time of year is a difficult one- I never know what to wear- it's a cross between gloriously sunny evenings and frosty chilly mornings with Ugg boots at the ready. Although I love the sun, I also love freezing cold mornings filled with hot chocolate, bracing walks with the dogs and an excuse to curl up by a fire for the day! This cake is a real comfort food recipe- roasted apples mixed with ground cinnamon and mixed spice - baked into a light and squidgy cake batter and then topped with a rich dark caramel flavoured with rum- absolutely delicious and so moreish!
You can use this recipe to make either loaf cakes or small muffin sized cakes. I made a combination of the two and topped them with dried apple rings. I keep seeing the recipe for dried apple everywhere and decided I eventually needed to try it! They make a healthy little afternoon snack or something to through on your breakfast and are super easy to make.
Ingredients: (to make one loaf cake and 6 muffin-sized cakes)
200g light brown sugar
4 medium sized eggs
200g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp mixed spice
4-5 small apples (350g peeled and cored weight)
1tbsp brown sugar
3tbsp dark rum
200g caster sugar
200ml double cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C(fan).
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the 200g each of butter and light brown sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. You may need to add a tablespoon or so of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling.
Then measure out the rest of the flour, baking powder and spices.
Add these dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well.
Add in the milk and honey and whisk again.
Peel and core the apples. Cut into small chunks and put in a bowl with the tablespoon of brown sugar and the rum. Mix well and leave for 5-10 minutes.
Then mix the apples and rum into the cake mixture with a metal spoon.
Grease a rectangular loaf tin and a muffin tray with butter. Then spoon two thirds of the mixture into the loaf tin and the rest into the muffin tray.
Bake the cakes in the preheated oven. The small cakes will take 18-20 minutes and the loaf, 35-40 minutes. (They should turn golden brown and when a skewer is inserted into the cake, it should come out clean.) Cool the cakes on a wire cooling rack.
Whilst the cakes are baking, prepare the apple crisps. Really thinly slice the apples and lay them out on a baking tray on baking paper dusted with a little ground cinnamon.
When the cakes are baked, turn the oven down to 140 degrees C (fan) and bake the apples for 45min-1 hour, turning them over half way through.
Whilst the apple slices are drying out, make the caramel.
Put the caster sugar in a large wide pan. Put over a medium-high heat and let it sit until the sugar begins to melt (do not stir it!) Then when it begins to turn into a golden caramel, add in the butter and cream until you have a smooth caramel. Stir until mixed. (You may need to strain your caramel if you have some lumps of sugar left.) Take off the heat and stir in the rum.
When the cakes are cool, spread over the caramel, top with the dried apple slices and some crushed pecans.