Recipe: Dorset Apple Cake

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Dorset Apple Cake is probably one of my most favourite cakes ever. Especially when served with a wondrous amount of delicious clotted cream. Yum. Unfortunately this combination is not exactly diet friendly and I am trying so very hard to shift a few lbs before Christmas so it’s a good job that this was a cake I made back in September!

Last year I made a traybake Dorset Apple Cake which was delicious but when I had some apples to use up in September I thought I’d try a different type of cake.  The result was a lovely golden, crumbly dessert style of cake which will definitely be made time and time again – it’s a total timeless classic.  In fact, writing this now is making me crave it again so perhaps I will give in to temptation and knock another one up this weekend – it does seem perfect for this Autumnal weather.

My two bits of advice for this cake, is chop the apples up quite small, this will help the cake to bake more evenly and keep an eye on your cake in the oven – I’ve adjusted the times in this recipe as the original suggestion of 30-40 minutes was nowhere near enough. I found it actually took 50-55 minutes but this can depend on your oven I guess. My suggestion would be to set the time for 40 mins and test regularly from there on in.

Dorset Apple Cake

Ingredients

225g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
115g unsalted butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
115g light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6-8 tbsp milk
225g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced
100g sultanas
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Method

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and cinnamon together. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the light brown sugar. Beat in the egg followed by enough of the milk to make a smooth, thick batter.

Add the apples and sultanas to the bowl and mix everything gently to combine.

Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top to level out before sprinkling with demerara sugar.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack

Now, this cake is AMAZING served warm, which is really the way it should be dished up.  If you’re not a fan of clotted cream (WHY?!) then you can always use custard which is also pretty delicious with this cake!

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Num Noms #WackyBakers!

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Earlier this year we spent a blissful week in sunny St Ives. There’s a wonderful little Post Office shop there, right near the harbour that is toy heaven – lots of pocket money toys and ways to extract money from us parents – and it was here that we first discovered the delight that is Num Noms – collectible, scented characters that you can mix and match to make your own fusion of flavours.

Despite being a very grown-up 10 year old, for my daughter it was love at first sight, so when we were sent some Num Noms in the post she was very excited, especially with the added brief of getting creative in the kitchen – we love to bake!

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We were sent some of the Num Noms Freezie Pops variety which happens to include this one, a motorised little fella which, while fairly innocent looking, takes great joy out of terrorising my cat.

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When it came to the #WackyBakers challenge we decided to take inspiration from one of the other available Num Noms – Nana Swirl.

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Yes, Nana Swirl is a banana cupcake which inspired us into making….little banana cakes!

These little Banana Fairy Cakes are SO easy to knock up and great for little hands to get messy in the kitchen. Mine both loved helping with making the cakes but they loved the decorating even more. Even if I did have to bite my tongue a bit about my lovely hundreds and thousands pebbled-dashed kitchen floor…

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Banana Fairy Cakes

Ingredients
100g caster sugar
200g butter, softened
140g self-raising flour
2 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 very ripe banana

To decorate;
140g icing sugar
hundreds and thousands (lots!)

Method
Heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4.  Line a 12-hole bun tin with fairy cake cases.

Put the caster sugar, butter, flour, eggs, vanilla and banana in a big bowl together and beat with an electric whisk or stand mixer (or your own fair hands if you’re feeling energtetic) until the banana is mashed and everything is mixed together well.

Divide the cake mixture between the cases and bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to cool.

Once completely cool, you can start to decorate. Mix the icing sugar with a little water to make it spoonable – don’t make it too runny or it will just run straight off the fairy cakes.  Spread the icing over each cake and then cover in the hundreds and thousands!

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And then…eat!

I think we’ve done Nana Swirl justice, don’t you?

The love affair with Num Noms continues in our household – they’ve already made an appearance on Draft 1 of the Christmas List and they little packets would make great stocking fillers so I will be ‘stocking’ up soon….(see what I did there?!).

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Recipe: Chocolate Marble Cake

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This one is a bit of a tea-time favourite and a lunchbox stable – chocolate marble cake.

It’s a simple, no-frills cake which tend to be my favourite type as I have little patience for decorating cakes, though having said that, in the past I have been known to liberally cover this lovely cake in a rich ganache. A ganache with no panache though – totally slapped on without any shame!

The original recipe came from BBC Good Food but I did tweak it a little bit.  The recipe also calls for butter but I have used Stork in place of butter sometimes, to no detriment.

Chocolate Marble Cake

Ingredients

225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 160C/gas 4. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line the bottom with a circle of greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Gently fold in the flour, milk and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.

Divide the mixture equally between two bowls. Take one of the bowls and stir in the cocoa powder. Take two spoons and dollop the cake mixes into the tin alternately, making sure that the base of the tin is evenly covered and when the mixture has all been used up, tap the bottom of the tin gently on the work surface to get rid of any air bubbles. With a skewer, swirl it around the mixture a few times in the tin to create the marbled effect.

Pop the cake in the oven and baked for about 50-60mins, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

I’m sketchy with the timings because baking is not something that can be done to an exact time and I have found on different occasions this cake has needed slightly longer.  My advice is to set the time to 45 minutes and then check every 5 minutes from there on.

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Mrs M’s Jaffa Jaffa Cake

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This might be the least photogenic of all the cakes I’ve ever made, but let me tell something, it was also one of the tastiest!

Yes, my Jaffa Jaffa cake (so good they named it twice) may not be much to look at but it’s no coincidence that my children have called it the “orange yum cake” (also in this series we have the banana yum cake, and lemon yum cake).

I did fully intend to take really nice, food blogger, arty shots of the cake but well, I didn’t. I just darned well ate it because you know, that’s what I am about. Cake eating, not cake posing.  This photo was taken when that gooey chocolate mess on top was still warm enough to smear itself all of your hands, face and clothing while you devoured it.

I will make this cake again and again and again – and if you’re lucky I may even take a better photo!

Jaffa Jaffa Cake

Ingredients

140g butter, softened
200g self raising flour
1tsp baking power
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
6 tbsp milk
finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
100g chocolate chips

To finish;
3 tbsp orange juice
50g golden caster sugar
100g dark chocolate

Method

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Butter and line a loaf tin.

Put all the cake ingredients, except the chocolate chips, into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon for 3-5 mins, until light and fluffy.  Carefully stir in the chocolate chips and then spoon the mix into the cake tin and smooth over the top.

Pop into the oven and bake for 40-50 mins, until the cake is golden brown and firm to touch. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven.

Heat the orange juice and sugar in a small pan, stirring until dissolved and then spoon the liquid over the top of the cake.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Break up the chocolate into small chunks and melt over a pan of simmering water. Drizzle over the top of the cake and leave to set.

Or not.

Nobody will judge you.

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Recipe: Banana & Chocolate Loaf Cake

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I don’t think it’s a secret around these parts that I love a loaf cake. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not into fuss and frippery. I want to make a cake, and eat it. I don’t want to spend six hours of my life fighting with icing nozzles and decorations. That’s not me –  so a loaf cake ticks all my cakey boxes. They are generally very simply and quick to knock up and many recipes can just baked and scoffed, perfect

There’s a chance I may have blogged this recipe before however, I have tweaked it a little over the past few years. It’s a firm family favourite, in fact I would go as far as to say it’s THE family favourite cake, often found in packed lunches (where I am told their friends go YUCK on account of how it looks) and I’m not going to lie, bananas are bought purely so they go spotty and can be turned into cake.

The banana means this is a wonderfully moist cake and keeps well for a good couple of days – if it hangs around that long!   It’s quite a versatile cake and in the past I have added other ingredients such as mini pieces of fudge or chopped walnuts – but the standard banana and chocolate variety is the most popular!

Banana & Chocolate Loaf Cake

Ingredients
 
125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
190g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
60ml milk
100g chocolate chips
 
Method
 
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. You can do this with baking parchment or if you’re sensible you’ll pick up some loaf tin liners like I do – normally from Lakeland but I am sure they sell them in other places too. 
 
Take a large saucepan, and over a medium heat, melt the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together.  Remove from the heat and add the mashed bananas to the pan. Mix everything together well.
 
Add the beaten egg and mix well before stirring in the flour, baking powder, milk and chocolate chips.
 

Pour your cake mixture into the ready-prepared tin and bake in the oven at 170c/gas mark 3 for around 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

And that really is it! So quick and easy and mainly items you’ll have languishing in your cupboard or fridge at any one time! I must make this cake at least twice a month and we’re not bored of it yet. And with that….I’m off for a slice!

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