I like my cake to have some substance and bite with the softness. That is the reason why sponge or chiffon cakes are not high on my list of favorites as I find them just too airy and empty like biting into sweetened cotton wool. The same applies for my bread too.
This apple cake recipe is adapted from the big blue book from Terri. I like that it has so many of my favorite things in a bite and with such simple and easy steps to follow. I don't do much cake baking as I am all thumbs when come to decorating it and the task of washing up after the baking and icing is just too daunting to consider. I salute all the blogs I visit that do such beautiful work of art with their cakes, truly inspirational (if only I can overcome this disdain for cleaning up...). So only easy recipes end up in my kitchen.
With most recipes, I would tweak the ingredients (especially the sugar content and for this recipe I more than halved the amount!) until I fine-tuned it to suit my palate (like doing it over and over for a whole week until I ran out of friends and foes to push the cake to).
I don't have any problem with the taste of the cake (can't go wrong with this divine combination of apple, walnuts, raisins and maple syrup) but the texture was just not ideal as it was dry and too crumbly.
In my first attempt, the cake turned out like rock buns and if I had given them to any of my friends they would surely be my friends no more.
After much persistence and perseverance, I finally get it down to this truly down-to-earth goodness with a solid but soft and moist texture which I think is blog-worthy. Here goes...
100 g butter, softened
230 g all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t bicarbonate of soda
1/2 t cinnamon powder
70 g brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
2 cups coarsely grated apple
a pinch of salt
**make sure all ingredients are at room temperature**
Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line (a must-do or you wouldn't be able to get the cake out of the tin) a 20cm (7 in) baking tin.
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, maple syrup and cinnamon together to combine well.
Sieve flour together with baking powder and b. soda into the butter mixture. Fold in the flour.
Stir in the nuts and raisins.
Spread mixture (the consistency of this batter is much thicker than, say, a normal butter cake batter) evenly into the lined pan.
Bake about 40 - 50 minutes.
Cool cake on a wire rack.
Cut into cubes and serve them plain (the way I like it) with a cuppa tea or coffee, .
If rajin (diligent) like me ;p, frost cake with maple syrup or this gorgeous cream cheese frosting.
The only reason I frosted this last cake was just to coax someone, anyone to eat the cake! My family just about have had enough of my apple cakes. I think I'll have to wait out a year or so before I could do this recipe again. 4 in a week is too much, you think?
For maple frosting:
90 g butter
160 g icing sugar
1 t maple syrup
Mix all ingredients together until light and fluffy.