Apple & Cinnamon Teacake
Tea may just be the great love of my life. Hot, comforting, reliable, the good qualities of tea reads like the “looking for” section of an online dating profile. But in all honesty, I am a firm believer that there are few problems that can’t be solved over a cup of tea.
No tea goes down quite as well, in my opinion, than the one that comes paired with a delicious slice of cake. I find that fruit-based cakes work well next to your cup, and this Apple & Cinnamon Teacake works particularly well on a dreary, cold day, when the smell of spiced batter escaping the oven is especially needed to battle the Winter blues.
The golden rule when baking anything, is to start with room temperature ingredients. Should you have the sudden urge to bake a cake, I beg you, take your milk, eggs and butter out of the fridge and leave them for 20 minutes, before you even lift a spatula. The consequence of not listening to this baking wisdom is that the outside of your cake will cook quicker than the inside, leaving you wondering what on earth you did to deserve a burnt crust and soggy middle. I urge you to make a pledge with yourself to only use room temperature ingredients from this day forward. Agreed? Good.
Apple & Cinnamon Teacake
two Granny Smith apples
100g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar (plus extra for apples)
one tablespoon cinnamon
one teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
one cup self-raising flour, sifted
1/3 cup milk
Peel apples and halve, cutting out core with a “V” shape and then slice finely into half-moons.
Melt 30g of butter in a fry pan and add the sliced apples when the butter has started to froth. Sprinkle over one tablespoon of caster sugar, and stir to coat the apples in the butter and sugar mix.
Cook stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat, til the apple has softened and turned a light golden brown.
Spread the cooked apple onto a plate, and leave in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees, and greased a 20cm springform cake pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, egg and vanilla together for a few minutes until combined. Stir in half the flour, then half the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Repeat with remaining halves of flour and milk. Spread mixture into greased cake pan. Level the top, and arrange the cooled apple slices on top. Poke the apple slices down into the batter, so some of the cake mix can peek through.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. While warm, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with extra sugar and cinnamon if desired.
Serve warm, with a nice big pot of tea, and some good company.