20th June 2012
I had planned an evening of baking because of the ongoing football and my utter boredom of it by now, only to be told that there weren’t any games this evening. Oh well, I had planned to bake this cake so thought I would go ahead with it anyway.
From the title of this cake I was expecting something with a hint of spice, maybe cinnamon or some mixed spice, but I was rather disappointed to see once I had read through the ingredients that there wasn’t any spice to be added at all, only a little almond extract.
The oven was put on and a 20cm (8″) loose bottom tin was lightly greased and the bottom lined with parchment.
I thought I would be prepared, so I decided to prepare the apples and apricots beforehand. Normally I get half way through the recipe and then realise I haven’t prepared half of the things and the mixture sits there bubbling away waiting for the last few ingredients.
First of all I weighed the apricots out into a bowl and then snipped then with some scissors into small pieces. The bowl was put to one side. It was then onto the apples. I hate it in recipes when it says 225g cooking apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced. I never know whether it means 225g before peeling etc or 225g in total once you have done everything. The two apples I weighed were more than 225g, but spookily once they had been peeled, cored and sliced they weighed exactly 225g, so I decided that this would be the amount I would add. This bowl too was put to one side.
It was out with the large mixing bowl and into this went the self-raising flour, the baking powder, the sugar, 2 eggs and the almond extract. At this point I was cursing myself for not getting the butter out of the fridge earlier, as I knew it would be too hard, so I was pleased to read that for this recipe I actually required melted butter! The butter was weighed out into yet another bowl (so much washing up was being produced) and put into the microwave on low for around a minute. Once out, I gave it a quick stir and added it to the bowl. The ingredients were then mixed together with the electric mixer for a minute until nice and smooth.
It was then time to add in the apples and apricots. First I tipped in the apricots and found there was one apricot unsnipped, so it was out with the scissors to chop it up. The apples were next in. These were gently stirred through the mixture and it was then turned into the tin and the top was levelled. I did have two chunks of apple poking through the top, so a quick push into the mixture with them and I was happy. It was then I saw you had to sprinkle almonds over the top of the cake, so it was into the cupboard to get out one of my boxes that I had bought from Lakeland the other day in order to sort my cupboards out. Very proudly (I’m getting so organised now) I opened the lid on the box that was full of nuts etc. Out came the flaked almonds and 25g were weighed into another bowl. Now 25g of almonds are rather a lot. In fact the top of the cake was covered by the time I had used them all up.
The cake had to bake in the over for one and a half hours, so I set the timer for an hour so I could check on it after that time. The smell coming from the kitchen after half an hour was lovely, all almondy, which surprised me as only 1/2tsp of almond extract had been added and I didn’t think the almonds on top would give off too much aroma.
After an hour it wasn’t quite done, so it went back into the oven for another 15 minutes, after which time it was lovely and golden and firm to the touch. Out it came and sat on the top of the cooker for a few minutes before being turned out. I was rather concerned at this point as when I tried to remove the baking parchment there were two chunks of apple right at the bottom (probably the ones I had pushed down from the top) which were slightly stuck to the paper and wanted to come away with it, together with some cake. Taking care I managed to remove the paper without tearing the cake.
The cake was popped back over the right way and left to cool. It wasn’t until the next day, mid-morning when I decided to have a slice. The cake was so light and moist and the flavours of the apple, apricots and almond extract all came through to compliment each other. It was delicious. Mary says it’s best to eat warm, so when I had my next slice, I warmed it up and this too was delicious. Warm or cold it was lovely and a hit with the family. Another one to add to the list of ‘to make again’ cakes.