September 24, 2011

those little signs of autumn

it s definitely here, the sun sits lower in the skies, the air smells faintly of a good wood fire being stoked to keep out the chill, the leaves are slowly turning and getting ready to provide us with a final spectacle of color, and the fruits of the season are at their best...


apples and nuts, what better way to combine them with spices and sugar in a sticky yummy cake. being an avid fan of Delicious. magazine i was lucky to find a super recipe in the october 2011 issue to do just that. i did tweak it just a little bit. since i had no ground ginger, i substited by grating in some fresh ginger and just to make life easier, i used ground allspice berries which contain all those aromas of cloves and cinnamon and nutmeg.

so here it is:



150 gr unsalted butter
150 gr soft dark brown muscovado sugar
150 gr golden syrup
200 ml milk
250 gr plain all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoon ground allspice berries
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
2 organic eggs, beaten
75 gr pecans, roughly chopped
2 pieces of candied stem ginger, chopped quite finely
2 crisp eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
(about 250 gr when chopped)


1. preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a 2 liter loaf tin (it really has to be this large because the cake does rise quite a bit) by greasing and lining with baking parchment
2. melt the butter, the sugar and syrup. once melted, add the milk and set aside to cool
3. sift the flour with the baking powder. add the ground allspice and the grated ginger
4. make a well in the center and slowly beat in the cooled sugar mixture
5. mix in the beaten eggs, chopped stem ginger, pecans and apple chunks
6. pour the mixture (it will be more fluid than a normal cake mix) into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean
7. cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then lift out and leave to cool on a wire rack
8. can be served lukewarm or cold
9. once completely cooled, wrap in baking parchment and cling film and keep in an airtight tin for up to 5 days, the flavor will improve (or so it says in the magazine, but i doubt it ll survive that long!)

what can i say? i just had a slice with some cream mixed with a little bit of cream cheese... and it tastes of... well, all things nice like sugar and spice...