Friday Food Blog: The (It’s Better Than Paul Hollywood’s) Apple Cake

Apple Cake PhotoI know it’s a bit naughty, and of course it’s subjective, but I’ve got to tell you, the Dorset Apple cake in Paul Hollywood’s British Baking book is definitely not as tasty.  I even made both, on the same day, under strict scientific conditions (actually I didn’t, I made them both in a rush, early one Sunday morning to feed *bribe the volunteers who were coming to a work party at our local community orchard).  Paul’s recipe was nice enough but it was denser, drier, paler and less fragrant when baking in the oven.  I left it at home for the kids.  They didn’t complain of course and it was gone when I got back.  Apple cake is a winner whichever recipe you use!  This one has been tweaked from a recipe that was scribbled on a scrap of paper in a drawer at the restaurant where I used to work.  It started life as a wholemeal cake which crumbled when you cut it and was perfect for feeding birds.  Now it’s my daughter’s favourite cake, requested for her birthday and the first recipe in the Friday Food Blog.  Don’t be fooled by its wholesome, ordinary appearance, it’s a lovely thing.  A perfect comfort food which is simple to make and particularly nice still warm with custard.

The (It’s Better Than Paul Hollywood’s) Apple Cake

4oz butter
6oz light soft brown sugar
2 free range eggs
8oz plain white flour
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 x large cooking apple
Milk

Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Cream the butter & sugar together till light and fluffy.
Weigh out all dry ingredients.
Add eggs slowly to the butter and sugar mix, using a bit of the dry ingredients to stop curdling.
Add remaining dry ingredients.
Fold in the apple (peeled and chopped into smallish pieces).
Add enough milk to make it dropping consistency (approx. 70ml).
Turn into one round 8” tin lined on the bottom with a circle of baking parchment.
Sprinkle top with demerara sugar.
Bake for 1 hour.

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