September 1, 2011
Apple and Almond Cakes
Happy Spring Dear Readers!
I love the warmer weather, opening all the windows to flush any wintery funk from the house and letting in the sweet scent of blossoms wafting on the breeze!
Where I live we have blossom trees everywhere, pink and white puffs that look delicate enough to blow away with a breath. Blossoms make me think of apple trees, apple trees make me think of apples, and apples make me think of... Apple Cakes of course!
This is a nice dense cake with the addition of almond meal, that's hearty enough to be served as a pudding, but not stick-to-the-ribs enough not to enjoy as a snack. Juuuuuust right.
Apple and Almond Cakes
2 nice large Apples- I used Sundowner today
(1 of them sliced finely, one of them grated)
125 gr Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cup Almond Meal
1 cup SR Gfree Flour
1/3 cup Raisons
1/4 cup Marsala (or other liquid like apple juice)
Spices to taste- I used about a teaspoon of mixed nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves
2 Tab Butter extra
2 Tab Castor Sugar
Soak the raisons in the marsala, I pop them in the microwave for a minute to plump up nicely.
Use a mandoline to slice one of the apples very thinly, or use a really sharp knife and be really careful.
Pop them in a bowl with the extra butter and castor sugar, and microwave them for about a minute and a half to soften down a bit so they're soft enough to mold around the cake tins.
Grease the cake tins, I used texas muffin pans and plain canola spray oil. Mold the apples carefully around the pans, or if you can't be bothered, just place a slice in the bottom of each cavity.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I like to add the spices now too.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat really well.
Add in the raisons and grated apple and mix throughly.
Fold through the flour and almond meal until well combined.
Put half a cup of the mixture into each muffin cavity, and fold over the edges of the apple slices. Smooth the tops of each little cake well.
Pop in the oven at 180*c for 25-30 minutes, or until a lightly pressed finger on the top of each meets a slight resistance and it springs back gently.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.
You can eat these little lovelies still warm, preferably with some lactose free cream and custard.
They came out sweet and subtley spiced, but I do think the flavour was much nicer the next day, even heated up again. There was just a depth of apple and marsala that wasn't as obvious before. In fact, the only thing I didn't like about these was the way the raisons looked poking through the apple slices. It kinda looked funky, like a spot of mould, or a dead fly maybe... a liberal dusting of icing sugar, the chefs friend, will hide that nicely though, or else make sure that's where you pour the custard!
I must admit, if I make these again just for us, I'll probably just go with the slice of apple on top- and I won't probably pre-cook it either. If I'm making these for the cafe or a dinner party I'd probably go with the all-over look. They both look pretty cute.
The family however, was divided on the subject, we had two votes for the apple-all-over, and 2 for the apple-on-top look. In the interest of fair play we obviously need a tie breaker- so Dear Reader, we look to you.
Which look do you prefer for your Apple Almond Cake?