Sunday, 12 February 2012

Weekly Bake Off: Apple and Almond Dessert Cake



I have been really excited about this bake all week, as I love apples and almonds in baking. I was so excited I even went out and bought a new tin...





I decided to deviate away from the recipe... this started off as a little deviation, like adding cinnamon to the mixture... to deviating a bit more by adding more batter... and then deviating further by not 'sprinkling' the almonds on the top but actively placing them in a very neat way all over the top.

So... my cake looks very different to the picture in the book... and everyone else's. I'm trying to not be disheartened by this as the cake still tastes absolutely awesome. The deviations mean that the cake tastes that little bit more Dutch, has a crispy top and a lot of sponge.


I should have made this in a bigger tin if I was going to add more batter but I was just doing this as I went along, it wasn't pre-thought-out. If I had of used a bigger tin then the top may have stayed looking as neat as when it first went in, I'm not so sure whether this had anything to do with my cake being a little wonky too or if this is my oven. The more I bake the more I start to notice that there are certain parts of my oven which are hotter than other parts.

I joined the weekly bake off to learn more about baking and to bake things I wouldn't normally chose to make. I have accomplished both of these things with this cake!

If you are interested in making my version of this cake here is how I did it below:


Ingredients:

3 Large eggs
325g of caster sugar
325g of self raising flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp almond extract
210g melted butter
1 large bramley apple
a lot of almonds
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon


Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees (fan assisted temperature). Peel and core your apple and cut in to chunks.

2. Melt 140g of your butter in a pan on a low temperature, once melted take it off the heat and let it cool for two minutes.

3. Put two eggs, 225g of sugar, 225g of flour (sieved first), 1 and half tsp of baking powder, half a tsp of almond extract and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in to a bowl. Then add in your melted butter and whisk until the mixture is thick.

4. I did a bit of research before making this cake on how to stop your cake going soggy with the apples. I came up with cooking the apples a little bit first. So with your buttery pan (the contents of which you have just poured in to the mixing bowl) put your apples in and cook on a low temperature. Once they have had 5-10 minuted on a low heat take them off and put to one side to cool.

5. Pour half of the mixture in to the bottom of your pan (probably best to use a 23cm) then add in your apple chunks trying to keep them in the middle away from the edges (otherwise they will protrude out of your sponge). Then pour the rest of the batter on the top. To keep it to Mary Berry's recipe (almost) stop here. Your batter may not cover all your apples but others seem to have found this and once cooked the apples have been completely covered.

However... myself thinking I had done something wrong I decided to make more batter.



6. Repeat steps 2 and 3 using the other egg, 100g of sugar, 100g of flour, and 3/4 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp of almond extract, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 70g of melted butter. Then pour on top.

7. You can sprinkle you almonds all over the top almost covering or place them neatly like I did... it took me about 10-15 minutes to do this but I was in a very patient mood.



8. Place your cake in the centre of the oven and bake for 90 minutes. Your cake should be light and golden (hopefully not wonky like mine) a skewer should come out clean if you poke it through the centre.

9. Take your cake out of the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream.