Apple Cinnamon Cake

Apple Cinnamon Cake

When I think of Autumn and Winter food, apple and cinnamon is a combination that automatically comes to mind. They evoke feelings of being cosy and warm – which is very much needed at this time of year! I’ve made this Apple Cinnamon Cake with a moist apple sponge, a cinnamon buttercream and lashings of salted caramel sauce. It’s a winter warmer in a cake!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the sponge I started by creaming the butter and sugar together.

I added eggs, and whisked well.

Then I mixed in self raising flour, grated apple and some cinnamon.

  

I divided the mixture between three 8″ tins and baked for 35 minutes until golden.

To make the buttercream I mixed together butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth.

  

Then I started stacking up the sponges, I piped buttercream and drizzled caramel sauce between each layer,

Apple Cinnamon Cake

I finished the Apple Cinnamon Cake with more cinnamon buttercream on top, more salted caramel sauce and some chopped pecans to finish.

Apple Cinnamon Cake

The Apple Cinnamon Cake was absolutely divine and so full of cinnamon flavour!

  

I’m linking this recipe up with Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, Baking Crumbs hosted by Jo’s Kitchen Larder, and Fiesta Fridays hosted by Of Goats & Greens and Apply To Face Blog.

5 from 8 votes
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Apple Cinnamon Cake

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 500 g Butter or baking spread
  • 500 g Light brown sugar
  • 9 Eggs large
  • 300 g Cooking apples (about 3 apples) grated weight
  • 500 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

For the buttercream

  • 300 g Butter or baking spread
  • 600 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

For the decoration

  • Salted Caramel sauce I used Tesco's Finest
  • Chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark, and grease and line three 8 inch sandwich tins

  2. To make the sponge cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I used an electric hand mixer, but you can also do this by hand with a whisk

  3. Add the eggs two or three at a time and whisk them in

  4. Then whisk in the self raising flour, cinnamon and apples

  5. Divide the mixture between the three sandwich tins, I like to weigh it out for accuracy so the layers are even

  6. Bake them for around 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Then remove them from the tins carefully and let them cool completely on a cooling rack

  7. To make the buttercream, mix together the butter and icing sugar until smooth, you can use either an electric mixer or do this by hand with a whisk

  8. When it starts to come together add the cinnamon and vanilla, and whisk until smooth

  9. Stack the sponges up on your plate or cake stand, piping buttercream between each layer and drizzling salted caramel sauce over the buttercream, letting it drip down the sides of the cake

  10. When you get to the last layer, use a spatula to spread a little buttercream in the centre reaching almost to the edge but not quite, then pipe rosettes all around the edge

  11. Add the chopped pecans in the centre, then drizzle over more salted caramel sauce

  12. Serve immediately, store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

Apple Cinnamon Cake

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Apple Crumble Cheesecake (No Bake)

Apple Crumble Cheesecake (No Bake)

Why decide between two desserts when you can combine them? This apple crumble cheesecake has all the delicious flavours and textures of both an apple crumble, and a cheesecake! The biscuit base, crumble and apples are all laced with cinnamon and spices, making this dessert ideal for Autumn. The apples are a perfect balance of tart and sweet, the crumble and biscuit base provide crunchy texture and the cheesecake base is so creamy and light. It’s also really easy to make! The cheesecake is no bake, the apples just get chucked in a pan and left to soften, and the crumble only needs to go in the oven for under 10 minutes. The only hard part is waiting for everything to cool and set, but trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the apple topping as it takes a while to cook down, and then needs to fully cool. I put them in a pan along with the cinnamon, mixed spice, light brown sugar and maple syrup. On a low heat I let it simmer for around 25 minutes, until about a third of the apple pieces had gone mushy, and the rest were fully soft but still intact. I let it cool completely, then put it in the fridge to chill.

To make the base I used my food processor to whizz up the digestive biscuits into crumbs. I stirred in the cinnamon, added the melted butter and mixed it all together.

I pressed it into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin, then put it in the fridge.

To make the cheesecake filling I used my electric hand whisk to mix together the full fat cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth with no lumps. I added the vanilla and the double cream, and whisked it until it was thick.

I poured it into the tin and smoothed the top so it was level. Then I put it in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day I made the crumble topping by mixing the ingredients together then spreading it out onto a baking tray and baking for around 7 minutes, I bashed it up so it wasn’t in big chunks, then let it cool completely.

To assemble the apple crumble cheesecake I removed it from the tin, then I used a butter knife to smooth it all around the edges. I piled the apple mixture on top, then covered it with the crumble, then finished it with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Apple Crumble Cheesecake

This apple crumble cheesecake is probably one of the most delicious things I have ever made! I served it at a dinner party and everyone loved it, one guest said it was ‘like crack’, and whilst they don’t have any personal experience of that, I’m taking it as a compliment!

Apple Crumble Cheesecake

If you love cheesecake and you love apple crumble, but you just can’t decide between the two, then apple crumble cheesecake is the dessert for you!

 

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, and Fiesta Fridays.

 

5 from 2 votes
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Apple Crumble Cheesecake (No Bake)

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the biscuit base

  • 250 g Digestive biscuits
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 100 g Butter or baking spread melted

For the cheesecake filling

  • 750 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 230 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 300 ml Double cream

For the apple topping

  • 2 large Bramley apples chopped, cored & peeled
  • 75 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup

For the crumble topping

  • 75 g Oats
  • 75 g Plain flour
  • 80 g Butter melted
  • 75 g Light brown sugar
  • 1/2 + 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 + 1/4 tsp Mixed spice
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Start by making the apple topping as it takes a while to cook down, and then needs to fully cool


  2. Put the chopped apples into a pan along with the cinnamon, mixed spice, light brown sugar and maple syrup

  3. On a low heat, let the apples simmer for around 25 minutes, until about a third of the apple pieces have gone mushy, and the rest have softened but are still intact. Put it into a bowl and let it cool completely, then put it in the fridge to chill

  4. To make the biscuit base use a food processor to whizz up the digestive biscuits into crumbs, or put them in a zip lock bag and smash them with a rolling pin

  5. Stir the cinnamon into the biscuit crumbs, then add the melted butter and mix it all together

  6. Press it into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin to create an even layer, then put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

  7. To make the cheesecake filling use an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer to mix together the full fat cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth with no lumps

  8. Add the vanilla and the double cream, and whisk it until it is thick. You want it to be thick enough so that you have to shake or tap the spoon to get it to fall off

  9. Transfer the cheesecake mixture into the tin and smooth the top so it is level. Put it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 5 hours, to set

  10. To make the crumble topping, mix the ingredients together then spread them out onto a foil lined baking tray and bake on 160 Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 7 minutes until it starts to go golden, break it up into smaller chunks, then let it cool completely

  11. To assemble the cheesecake, remove it from the tin, then use a butter knife to smooth the appearance of the filling all around the edges

  12. Pile the apple mixture on top, cover it with the crumble, then finish it with a sprinkling of icing sugar

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

You can find more of my Cheesecake recipes by clicking here!

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Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9

Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9

I didn’t post a bake along last week as I’ve been on holiday, I feel like I lucked out as Tudor Week looked tough! This week I’ve made some pretty Apple Pie Fondant Fancies. I’m still not over Benjamina’s shock exit either… This week was patisserie week and also the semi finals! As usual Bake Off is coming to an end far too fast. All of the bakers were very nervous this week, even Selasi!

Jump straight to the Apple Pie Fondant Fancies recipe!

The signature challenge was to make two styles of 24 savoury palmiers, using only puff pastry (no rough puff allowed!) Paul and Mary were looking for layers in the pastry, and a small amount of filling but with a lot of flavour. There were some debate amongst the bakers over whether they were using strong bread flour or plain flour for the puff pastry dough, with most of them using a mixture of the two. Andrew was the only one who used only plain flour and he had to re-start his puff pastry as it was too crumbly.

There were lots of different palmier shapes from the bakers. Jane made flowers, Andrew did musical notes, Selasi made butterflies and Candice made hearts. The judges thought Jane’s pesto and sundried tomato palmiers were not fully baked, they loved the flavour of her tapanade palmiers but again they were not quite baked. Candice’s pastry was well baked and the judges enjoyed the flavours, however they felt the palmiers were too big and thick. Selasi’s palmiers were also underbaked. Despite Andrew having to redo his pastry, his palmiers were crispy and Paul loved them.

This week’s technical challenge was to make a Savarin, this is basically a large rum baba. It’s a yeasted cake which is soaked in an orange liquor syrup and decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Paul warned the bakers may not prove the cake correctly, and he also wanted to see the cake evenly soaked with the liquor. Jane knew what it was, but the others were unsure.

Jane struggled with the caramel shards, I lost count of how many times she attempted to make them! All of the bakers had very neat piping skills when they made the chocolate label for the cake. It was a hot day in the tent so they all struggled with getting the cake to cool so they could add the whipped cream decoration. Paul actually gave the bakers some grace for this! Selasi came last as his savarin was over baked and his orange segments still had membrane on, Candice’s was also over baked and under proved which meant she got third place. Andrew’s was also slightly over baked so he came second, and Jane won despite not being successful with the caramel decoration.

The showstopper was to make 36 fondant fancies, two different types, all made with genoise sponge, and all made from scratch. They had 4 and a half hours to complete the challenge, Mary admitted that you’d make the sponge the day before usually which would make it more difficult for the bakers, but of course she still wanted them to be perfect. Paul wanted to see shop standard fancies with flat sides.

I liked Jane’s tip to use a potato masher to dip the fancies into the fondant. Mary made a comment about Selasi not sifting his flour, so he immediately re-made his sponge again! All of the fancies had to be covered in buttercream to ensure smooth sides, but Jane was the only baker who decided against doing this as it is a time consuming element to the bake. It was a very tense time in the tent as they all struggled to complete the challenge on time.

Mary and Paul both loved Candice’s praline fancies and cherry bakewell fancies, they thought the overall apperance was a bit messy but the flavours and fillings were what won them over. As Jane did not use buttercream to cover her fancies, the side were very messy and the judges noticed this immediately. Andrew’s fancies looked fantastic, I loved the way he presented them, it was such a clever idea.The judges agreed and called the presentation ‘stunning’.

 

Selasi left this week, he came last in the technical and the judges thought his white chocolate fancies were overly sweet. It was very close between him and Jane I thought, and I was surprised they chose him. Next week is the final and we get to find out who the winner is!

This week I decided to make Apple Pie Fondant Fancies. I find making puff pastry from scratch quite boring (too much turning and folding) and I don’t have the right tin to make a Savarin. Making these Apple Pie Fondant Fancies gave me so much sympathy towards the GBBO bakers! They are very time consuming due to all the different stages, but ultimately worth giving a go at least once as they taste so good and look really impressive!

I started by making a genoise sponge and whisked up eggs with golden caster sugar for about 7 minutes until it was thick and had reached the ribbon stage.

Then I sieved in a mixture of plain flour and cinnamon in three stages, and gently folded them in each time. Next I added melted butter which I poured around the edge of the bowl and folded in. I poured it into a lined baking tin.

It baked on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. I let it cool then wrapped it up and put it in the freezer for an hour.

While the cake was baking I made the apple filling. I heated up cooking apple, cinnamon and light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples were soft. I let the mixture cool, then whizzed it into a puree using a hand blender.

Then I took the cake out of the freezer and brushed a thin layer of apricot jam over the top.

I rolled out a 250g pack of orange fondant and covered the cake with it.

I trimmed the edges of the cake then using a ruler I cut it into 1.5″ squares.

Then I cut each square into half.

I spread the apple filling onto the bottom half and sandwiched them all back together.

I made a caramel butter cream by mixing butter, golden icing sugar and caramel extract.

Using a palette knife, I coated the sides of each cake with the buttercream. This was quite fiddly to get 100% neat. I put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set.

I made a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg ready to roll fondant with 115ml water and some orange food colouring. To decorate them. I set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and used it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top.

I melted white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. Then I added some bronze sprinkles.

I didn’t expect the Apple Pie Fondant Fancies to be as neat as professional ones, but I thought they came out alright in the end. The sides could have been neater, but the top were lovely and smooth. My fondant didn’t fully set, even after being in the fridge overnight, so they were quite messy when eating them!

And the best bit, the Apple Pie Fondant Fancies tasted just like apple pie! The cinnamon, apple and caramel all came together in a way I wasn’t expecting, and produced a delicious apple pie flavour. This wasn’t my original intention, but it really made the whole experience of making these worthwhile.

   

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, and with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.


Apple Pie Fondant Fancies

Servings 35

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 5 Eggs large
  • 150 g Golden caster sugar
  • 150 g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 75 g Melted butter

For the apple filling

  • 1 Chopped cooking apple
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 25 g Light brown sugar

For the glaze & to cover the cake

  • 2 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 250 g Orange fondant or white fondant coloured orange

For the buttercream

  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Golden icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Caramel extract

For the pourable fondant

  • 1 kg Orange fondant or white fondant coloured orange
  • 115 ml Cold water

To decorate

  • 100 g White chocolate
  • Bronze sprinkles
  • (If using white fondant) Orange food colouring

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to  180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4, grease and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin

  2. To make the genoise sponge whisk the eggs with the golden caster sugar in a stand mixer for about 7 minutes until thick and trebled in size

  3. Sieve in the plain flour and the cinnamon in three stages, and gently fold them in each time. Add the melted butter by pouring it around the edge of the bowl and folding it in. Pour the batter into the lined tin

  4. Bake it for 25 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let it cool then wrap it up and put it in the freezer for an hour

  5. To make the apple filling heat up the chopped cooking apple with the cinnamon and the light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples are soft. Let the mixture cool, then whizz it up using a hand blender

  6. Take the cake out of the freezer and 

  7. If you are using white fondant, knead some orange food colouring into it first until you get the desired shade. Roll out the fondant and cover the cake with it

  8. Trim the edges of the cake then using a ruler cut it into 1.5" squares. Then cut each square into half horizontally

  9. Spread the apple filling onto the bottom half of the cake and sandwich them all back together

  10. Make a caramel buttercream by mixing the butter, golden icing sugar and caramel extract together. Use a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake with the buttercream, then put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set

  11. Make a pourable fondant by mixing up the ready to roll fondant with the water. Set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top

  12. Pour the fondant over the top of the cakes and encourage it around the sides to fully cover each cake

  13. Melt the white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. Add some bronze sprinkles if you wish, or any decoration of your choice, then leave the fondant to set

  14. Serve once the fondant has set and eat leftovers within 2 days

You can find more of my Dessert recipes by clicking here!

Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! You probably know if you follow my blog that I absolutely hate to see food wasted or thrown away, so I’m always looking for ways to use up leftovers and avoid any having to go in the bin (one day I will have a garden with a compost heap!). Food waste happens so much more than usual over the festive period so I’ve been doing my best to use up what I can. I found this awesome recipe for a Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake and it was just perfect as I had exactly the right amount of parsnips left over from Christmas dinner to use up. I’ve made cakes using courgette and carrots before, but never parsnip so I was also excited to see how it turned out.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by lining and greasing a loose bottomed 22cm cake tin. You can also use two sandwich tins if you wish.

I melted butter, light brown sugar and maple syrup on a low heat. I let it cool slightly. Use pure maple syrup if you can (not maple ‘flavoured’ syrup), I was lucky to receive some Canadian maple syrup as a gift.

I grated parsnips and an apple using a food processor. I added the zest and juice of 1 orange.

Into the cooled butter mixture I whisked eggs.

I then added the dry ingredients; self raising flour, mixed spice and baking powder.

Finally I folded in the grated parsnip mixture, as well as pecans.

I poured the mixture into my tin.

I baked the cake for around 1 hour on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Make sure it is done in the middle by testing it with a skewer as this is a very big and dense cake. If you use two sandwich tins, you will only need to cook it for around 30 minutes.

To make the filling I whisked mascarpone with maple syrup. I used my hand mixer to do this as it thickened the filling nicely. I cut the cake in half and spread it over the middle. I put the other half of the Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake on top and finished with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

The Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake was so delicious! I loved the freshness of the filling, the texture that the chopped pecans added and the overall flavour was absolutely scrumptious! I couldn’t have guessed there were parsnips in the cake if I hadn’t made it myself. Although it is of course still cake, it certainly felt like a healthier snack and made me feel much better after all the indulgence of the past week.


Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 175 g Butter
  • 250 g Light brown sugar
  • 100 ml Maple Syrup
  • 250 g Parsnips
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Orange
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 50 g Pecans chopped

For the filling

  • 250 g Mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and line and grease a loose bottomed 22cm cake tin, or two sandwich tins

  2. Melt the butter, light brown sugar and the maple syrup on a low heat. Let it cool slightly

  3. Grate the parsnips and apple, add the zest and juice of the orange
  4. Whisk the eggs into the cooled butter mixture, then add the flour, mixed spice and baking powder
  5. Fold in the grated parsnip mixture, as well as the pecans
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake the cake for around 1 hour . Make sure it is done in the middle by testing it with a skewer as this is a very big and dense cake. If you use two sandwich tins, you will only need to cook the cake for around 30 minutes

  7. To make the filling whisk mascarpone with maple syrup using an electric whisk. Cut the cake in half and spread it over the middle. Put the other half of the cake on top and finish with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

Pimms Cupcakes

Pimms Cupcakes
I joined my local WI (Women’s Institute) at the beginning of the year as I wanted to meet some new people in my local area. I’ve been attending the meetings every month and I’ve been really enjoying it. So far I’ve listened to the author Rosie Garland read passages from her book out in a entrancing theatrical style, I’ve heard a former sex worker who turned her life around and is now studying for a degree tell her personal journey, and I’ve been inspired by women in business giving advice from their life experiences. It’s been an interesting few months! I decided to bake for this month’s meeting and as the theme was sport and Wimbledon is happening at the moment, Pimms Cupcakes immediately popped in my head!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I decided to use some dried fruit inside the batter so I cut up dried apple and dried strawberry.

Then I mixed together butter and caster sugar. I added eggs, and the zest of 1 orange, 1 lime and 1 lemon.

Finally I added self raising flour, the chopped dried fruit and mint leaves chopped very finely.

I baked the cupcakes for 20 minutes.

To decorate I made icing using butter, Pimms and icing sugar. I piped it on using a piping bag and nozzle.

I used paper straws, strawberries cut in half and mint leaves to finish the decoration. I thought the Pimms Cupcakes looked really cute!

The Pimms Cupcakes disappeared fast at the WI meeting and at the end of the meeting I won a bottle of faux Pimms for my efforts! I was embarrassed, but pleased of course!

Pimms Cupcakes

Servings 18

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 60 g Dried apple chopped up
  • 90 g Dried strawberry chopped up
  • 245 g Butter or baking spread
  • 245 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 1 Orange Zest only
  • 1 Lemon Zest only
  • 1 Lime Zest only
  • 6 Mint leaves chopped up
  • 245 g Self raising flour

For the buttercream

  • 1 1/2 tsp Pimms
  • 160 g Butter or baking spread
  • 400 g Icing sugar

For decoration

  • 20 Mint leaves
  • 8-10 Fresh strawberries

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a cupcake tin with paper cases

  2. Mix together the butter and caster sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, and the zest of the orange, lime and lemon and whisk in well

  3. Whisk in the self raising flour, the chopped dried fruit and the mint leaves

  4. Divide the mixture between the cupcakes cases, and bake them for 20-25 minutes until then are golden brown. Put them on a rack to cool completely

  5. For the buttercream mix the butter, the Pimms and the icing sugar together. Pipe it onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and nozzle

  6. Decorate with paper straws, strawberries cut in half and mint leaves

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here!

Spiced Apple Crumble

Spiced Apple Crumble
I had a craving for apple crumble last weekend. It must be the drop in temperature, it makes me want warm cosy foods. I’ve already had my first (and second!) mulled wine of the season, and I wanted to add those winter flavours and spices to this crumble to make it extra cosy and perfect for Christmas time. The other great thing about crumble is that it is so easy to make, once assembled it’s just a matter of snuggling under a blanket and waiting for it to bake.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by peeling and chopping cooking apple into small pieces. It was about 600g of apples, but 3 large Bramley apples should do the trick. I added sultanas, light brown sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and the orange zest.

I mixed it all together and spread it out into a dish. My dish is 31x21cm (12×8 inches).

For the crumble I mixed light brown sugar and plain flour together. I then added butter, cut into cubes and rubbed it with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs. This is quite a thick crumble topping, which is how I like it, so if you prefer a thinner layer take a third off the measurements.

I spread the crumble topping over the fruit and baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve warm with custard for a warming and spicy winter treat!

Spiced Apple Crumble

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 3 Large cooking apples about 600g
  • 70 g Sultanas
  • 70 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Orange

For the crumble

  • 305g Plain flour
  • 220 g Butter
  • 190 g Light brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  2. Peel and chop the apples into small pieces. Add the sultanas, light brown sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and the zest of the orange

  3. Mix it all together and spread it out into a 31x21cm (12x8 inches) dish
  4. For the crumble mix the light brown sugar and the plain flour together. Then add the butter, cut into cubes, and rub it with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs

  5. Spread the crumble topping over the fruit and bake it for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

You can find more of my Dessert recipes by clicking here!

Fruit Strudel with Homemade Filo Pastry

Fruit Strudel with Homemade Filo Pastry

I’ve always said that making filo pastry from scratch is absolute madness and a pursuit only to be undertaken if you are a Great British Bake Off contestant. However secretly I have been harbouring a craving to make it myself. Just to see what it was like, out of curiosity more than anything. Now I live with my boyfriend I have so much more time at weekends (we used to live in different cities) so I have time for big baking projects like this. So I decide to make Fruit Strudel from scratch! Here’s what happened…

Jump straight to the recipe!

I decided to make a strudel as this is one of the most well known filo bakes so I thought it was a good place to begin. I started making the filo pastry by sieving plain flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl I beat egg with water, lemon juice and salt. The recipe told me to put the flour on the work surface (hence the photo above) and pour the egg mixture into it. This is a bad idea. I do not recommend it as it is stupidly messy. Just mix it in a bowl until a dough forms.

The dough will be quite wet, so knead it on a floured surface until it becomes smooth. This takes about 10 minutes. I oiled my hands to stop it sticking to them and found this quite effective.

I covered my dining table with an old, but clean, bed sheet. You could also use a tablecloth. You may get butter or fruit juice on it so don’t use your best linen. Then I floured it evenly and well.

I rolled out the dough as much as I could with a rolling pin, then covered it with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes. I used more flour and kept the dough moving so it wouldn’t stick to the sheet.

Then I started stretching! I pulled and stretched the dough gently, letting it stretch with its own weight. It wasn’t as hard as I imagined as it is naturally a very stretch dough. It did tear several times but I was expecting that so I wasn’t too concerned. It was hard to keep the edges thin and they stayed thicker all the way around.

After brushing melted butter all over the dough, I sprinkled it with a mixture of soft light brown sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon.

I then sprinkled it with blueberries, raspberries and apples. Using the bed sheet I rolled up the strudel gently and slowly.

I put it on a baking sheet and left it overnight in the fridge. The next day a lot of juice had released from the fruit, I mopped it up but I was concerned about how thin the pastry looked on top, how soggy it was on the bottom and how many holes there were in it all over.

So I made more filo pastry! I used half of the quantity and it stretched a lot better this time and I was much more careful about not making holes.

I re-covered the top and bottom with pieces of the new pastry. It wasn’t the neatest but I felt more confident that it wouldn’t fall apart when baking. If I hadn’t left it overnight, I probably wouldn’t have done this. I brushed it all over with melted butter to make it nice and golden when it baked.

It baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes. The fruit released a lot more juice, so I transferred it to a wire rack (with a tray underneath) to cool. You can of course serve it straight away, or let it cool then warm up later. I thought it tasted better hot.

I sliced the Fruit Strudel up and served it with custard (not homemade, come on… I’d done enough!) I was pleased with how well it had baked despite being left overnight, the filo was beautifully golden, layered nicely and there was a good proportion of fruit. In some areas like the ends there was too much pastry, but if you’re tucking it in to seal it you can’t really avoid this. I’d definitely add more spices if I make it again, but you could taste the cinnamon. It all got eaten up and I got some good comments from colleagues and family. Overall I was really proud of myself and it felt good to overcome this baking challenge!

Fruit Strudel with Homemade Filo Pastry

Ingredients

For the filo pastry

  • 250 g Plain flour
  • 1 Egg large
  • 125 ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
  • A pinch of Salt

For the filling

  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 100 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Bramley apples diced
  • 250 g Fresh raspberries
  • 250 g Blueberries

Instructions

  1. Start by making the filo pastry, sieve the plain flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg with the water, lemon juice and salt, then mix with the flour

  2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Oil your hands to stop it sticking to them
  3. Cover a dining table with an old, but clean, bed sheet or tablecloth. Flour it evenly and well
  4. Roll out the dough as much as you can with a rolling pin, then cover it with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes
  5. Pull and stretch the dough gently with your hands, letting it stretch with its own weight and pulling it as thin as you can

  6. Brush the melted butter all over the dough, sprinkle it with a mixture of the light brown sugar, the zest of the lemon and the cinnamon

  7. Sprinkle the blueberries, raspberries and chopped apples over the pastry. Using the bed sheet to help you, roll up the strudel gently and slowly. Tuck the end in and fold it into a curved 'c' shape

  8. Put it on a lined baking tray and bake it on 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until golden and crisp

You can find more of my Pastry recipes by clicking here!

Apple Cake

I haven’t been to a Clandestine Cake Club meeting for ages, since last year actually. I usually attend one group in Manchester, but I decided to join another Manchester group for access to more local cake lovers and of course cake! I was so excited to attend my first Manchester South meet. The theme for the meeting was ‘Back To School’. I mulled over ideas for a while, before I settled on an apple cake. I originally wanted to do a 3D sphere apple cake, but I don’t have the correct tin and I was advised quite strongly by my boyfriend not to put a glass bowl in the oven as they can explode (!) So a flat apple it was.

In my usual style I kind of made up this recipe as I went. I used my Orange & Pomegranate Cake recipe as a starting point and it developed from there. First I grated 3 cooking apples. They went brown really fast! But this doesn’t matter.

I then creamed together 300g butter, 180g golden caster sugar and 160g soft light brown sugar. I only used the mixture of sugars as I had the golden caster lying around and thought I may as well use it. You can just use 340g soft light brown sugar if you don’t have both.

I added 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whisked well.

I pressed a few layers of kitchen towel down onto the grated apple to soak up some of the moisture before I mixed it in.

I folded in 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp baking powder and 340g self raising flour, and smoothed the mixture into a lined rectangular tin.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 mins, then turned down to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for a further 30 minutes. I checked on it a couple of times using a very thin skewer, and took it out once the skewer came out clean.

This is an apple outline I found to give me a rough template to follow when cutting the cake.

I started with the bottom and cut the dimple of the apple out.

Then I cut out the top and leaf section. I did this freehand as the template was a lot smaller than the cake. It’s quite a simple shape so wasn’t difficult, I cut gently so the cake didn’t break.

I made a red buttercream using red food colouring. I used Sugarflair Red Extra – the strongest red there is, but it still took a lot of it to get it to go red. I have found that red is the hardest colour to get a strong colour with when colouring buttercream.

I smoothed the buttercream on using a palette knife. This was very tricky round the sides where the cake had been cut as the crumbs meant getting the buttercream to stick was troublesome. I then made a green buttercream using Sugarflair Mint Green. Again I had more trouble with the crumbs, but eventually got the ‘leaf’ coated.

Of course you don’t have to go to all the trouble of shaping this cake into an apple and icing it. You can simply enjoy it alone, or with fresh raspberries and cream as I did with a piece of the cut offs!

The Clandestine Cake Club meeting took place at Coasters in Sale, a small coffee shop opposite the Sale tram shop. Check out their Facebook page – they make some amazing cakes, cheesecakes and other goodies!

Avril who runs the group was so lovely and welcoming, she made this Carrot & Walnut Cake, the recipe was given to her by a teacher.

This chocolate cake was made by Angela and I thought it was very tasty, especially the layer of jam in the middle!

I’m not sure who made this cake, but it had a fantastic lemon flavour!

Helena, who runs the Manchester North Clandestine Cake Club, came along with her gorgeous baby, and this gorgeous milk bundt cake too!

I have never been a fan of salted caramel, but Venetta’s chocolate cornflake and salted caramel cake has converted me! It was so delicious!

Mary made this fabulous cake full of childhood sweeties.

I love bakewell tart and really enjoyed eating some of Hayley’s bakewell tart cake.

Clare decorated her cake with a school emblem, and used fluff to make her marshmallow buttercream – a great idea!

This was my favourite cake of the night, packed with apples and blackberries it had a great zingy flavour and was super moist. I took a piece of this home and had it with my lunch the next day!

Owen, the ‘token male’ of the club, made this amazingly creative school crossing cake flavoured with honey and cinnamon. He made the ‘stop cake’ sign himself – I was really impressed!

Claire couldn’t make it as she was stuck at the airport waiting for her boyfriend to arrive and his flight was delayed, but she sent me a photo of the pencil cake she made and I had to feature it as it’s fantastic!

I got some great comments about my cake and I was so pleased. Two people recommended it to me, without knowing it was mine, I was really chuffed! Part of cake club is having your cakes tasted by other bakers, and having positive feedback is such a great feeling.

I am entering my apple cake into September’s Feel Good Food challenge, hosted by Victoria at A Kick At The Pantry Door. This month’s theme is apples and this cake fits the bill!

I am also entering my apple cake into the Four Seasons Food September Challenge, hosted by Anneli from Delicieux and Louise from Eat Your Veg. Apples are a great autumn fruit perfect for using in this challenge.

And finally, I’m entering the cake into Gourmandize UK’s competition to win a Kenwood Stand Mixer. They are looking for the best apple recipe.

Apple Cake

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 3 Large cooking apples
  • 300 g Butter
  • 180 g Golden caster sugar
  • 160 g Light brown sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 340 g Self raising flour

For the red buttercream

  • Red food colouring
  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

For the green buttercream

  • Green food colouring
  • 110 g Icing sugar
  • 55 Butter
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160 Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a traybake tin

  2. Grate the apples and press a few layers of kitchen towel down onto them to soak up some of the moisture

  3. Cream together the butter, the golden caster sugar and light brown sugar

  4. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract, and whisk well. Then mix in the apple

  5. Fold in the cinnamon, mixed spice, baking powder and self raising flour, then smooth the mixture into the traybake tin

  6. Bake for 45 mins

  7. Once fully cool, cut the dimple of the apple into the bottom. Then cut out the top and leaf section
  8. Make the red buttercream by mixing the butter, the icing sugar, vanilla extract and the red food colouring together. Smooth onto all of the cake except the leaf section

  9. Make the green buttercream by mixing the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and green food colouring together. Cover the leaf section of the cake

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

 

Tarte Tatin: The Rematch

After week #3 of GBBO I attempted to make my first tarte tatin. This will be forever known as “The Tarte Tatin Disaster”. Ever since this happened it has been playing on my mind. I needed to succeed in making this tarte, I needed to get it right.

Week #4 of GBBO brought with it more caramel and after my tarte disaster I was hesitant to make creme caramel, but tried it anyway, and with great result. I had conquered caramel! Maybe tarte tatin success was in my not so distant future?!

I recently made a Key Lime Pie and had doubled the pastry recipe to make sure I had enough. (See my Key Lime Pie post here for how to make the pastry.) There was enough leftover pastry to make a tarte tatin. I had apples in the cupboard. I had also found this great article about making the perfect tarte tatin and read it over a few times. I was ready.

First I put 200g caster sugar and 50ml of water into a pan and let it soak for a few minutes. Then I turned on a medium heat and let it bubble away until it turned golden. I took it off the heat and stirred in 50g butter and a pinch of salt. I put the apples (I used seven granny smith’s) into the pan round side down and put back on the heat for 5 minutes. Then I let it cool completely.

I rolled out my pastry onto a floured surface and put it over the apple, tucking in at the sides. I baked it on 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes. Important tip: make sure your pan is over proof! This little nugget of information slipped my mind and the house smelt like burnt plastic for a while. The pan is ok though and survived it’s ordeal you’ll be pleased to know.

And ta-da!! I was so pleased when I turned it out of the pan and it looked like this! Golden, shiny, and well perfect looking if I do say so myself! Absolutely chuffed to pieces with this one. My first tarte tatin was black so you can understand my sheer giddyness and glee at this result. It tasted really good too, the apples were soft and sweet, and the pastry was well baked and crisp on the bottom. I can now rest easy knowing I have finally succeeded in making a perfect tarte tatin 🙂