Toffee Apple Cake

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I have no clue how the idea for this cake popped into my head, but once I had thought of it, I knew I eventually would have to bake it. I think it was my mind’s sugary lovechild of the Maple Apple Upside Down Cake I made before Christmas and the Salted Caramel Fudge Cake I made a few weeks ago. I love fresh apples in a cake and I couldn’t get over how good that fudgey caramel icing was.

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With a bit of searching, I found what looked like a promising apple cake and then I decided to pair it with a modified version of the caramel icing from my other cake. I think I added around twice as many apples as the original recipe called for. It said “two large apples, around 2 cups”. I bought two large cooking apples and I think I had more like 4 cups of apples! Still, waste not, want not. So I put all the apples in the batter and I’m so glad I did. With almost every bite you get a taste of the tangy apple. I’m quite happy the apples stayed quite tart – the rest of this cake is very sweet and, well, the icing is pretty much fudge. It balances out the flavours of the cake nicely. I also added a lot more spice than the original cake asked for. Bring on the cinnamon!

The cake is also very moist, without being dense. The walnuts are optional, but I think they add a really nice crunch. I almost didn’t put them in (walnuts are expensive, yo!), but I’m really glad I did.¬†All and all, this cake has the flavours of autumn but is delicious all year round. It’s a great cake even without the icing, and you might prefer it that way if you have less of a sweet tooth. This would be great for an afternoon tea or even for a fancy brunch. If you want to impress, this is a wholesome scrummy cake that will knock the socks of whomever you share it with. :)

Happy Baking!


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Toffee Apple Cake

Serves 12-16 people

Ingredients

  • 2 large cooking apples (mine weighed ~750g, which is more than the original recipe called for)
  • 100g/1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped PLUS 8 walnut haves, reserved
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp other spices (e.g. cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg etc – I did 1/4 tsp each of cloves, allspice and nutmeg)
  • 375g/ 3 cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda/bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400g/2 cups white sugar
  • 300ml/1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F/160C. Butter and flour a tube or bundt pan. Line the bottom with baking parchment. Set aside.
  2. Peel, core and dice the apples into approximately 1/2 inch cubes. Mix together the apples, walnuts, 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tbsp of flour. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and remainder of the spices. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs and oil until light in colour and almost doubled in volume.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the apple mixture.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes. I’m afraid I can’t be more specific because my oven switched off by accident halfway through baking. It didn’t affect the final cake, but it meant that I have no idea what the timing is! Best thing to do is after 45 minutes to check it with a toothpick every 10 – 15 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack. Once completely cool, invert the cake onto a serving plate and ice as desired (caramel icing recipe below).

Caramel Icing

Ingredients

  • 200g/1 cup white sugar
  • 125 ml/1/2 cup milk
  • 125g/ 1/2 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients and melt in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. Once the mixture begins to boil, do not stir the mixture. Insert a candy thermometer and let it cook until it reaches the soft bowl stage (235F/118C).
  3. Carefully remove the pot from each and pour into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium until the icing begins to lose a bit of it’s gloss, is cool enough to touch and is starting to thicken.
  4. Next, working quickly, spread the icing over the top of the cake and press the 8 reserved walnut halves into the icing. The icing sets quite quickly, so speediness is important!

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