Here’s a recipe for a really delicious cake for you to try this Bank Holiday weekend – I’m not one to brag, but this cake was so delicious that angels descending from heaven to form an orderly queue, just for a piece of this tasty treat. It’s essentially a cake with a crumble topping, and it doesn’t sound like much but it’s a nice change from your normal sponge cake, and with the cinnamon, mmmmm! Have it with some ice cream, you won’t regret it…
As you might have gathered from other posts written by me, I’m not one for precision tasks, so when I cook I get bored and I don’t exactly note down everything in detail. I’d seen some recipes for this cake on television (Anna Olson and Barefoot Contessa, if you’ve been unemployed in the last few months then you’ll no doubt have come across their shows during the daytime on Food Network). After browsing some of the recipes out there – check out this one at The Baker Chick’s website – but really all I did was just note down how to make the topping and then kind of wing it from there. You can jiggle these measurements about to suit yourself, but I used an 8 inch pan for this. If you’re going to use a bigger pan, I think the general rule is that for every extra 2 inches of the pan, just add 2 oz to the flour, sugar and butter measurements and one egg. I THINK.
One more little thing – if you’ve got one of those cake pans where you can push the bottom up so you can remove the cake without tipping it upside down, it would be wise to use that. If not, just line the cake tins with grease-proof paper and give yourself some extra over the edge for leverage.
- 2 oz plain flour
- 1 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 oz granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 4 oz granulated white sugar
- 4 oz self raising flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large cooking apple (or 2 small regular apples, peeled)
- 6 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
First up, the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, and grease two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans – mine are about 8.5inches, which is why I don’t think it matters hugely whether you use an 8 or 9.
2. Cream together the sugar and butter, and then add in the flour and eggs – remember my tip from before about alternating between eggs and flour to stop the batter from curdling. But whatever, I’m not the boss of you, do whatever the hell you want. It’s your cake, man.
3. Set this mixture aside for now.
Now let’s hit up that streusel topping (note – this might be different from how other recipes do it, but remember, this is me here, we’re slumming it) :
4. In a clean, dry bowl, combine the streusel ingredients of flour, sugar and butter. I tend to do this by stirring it initially and then rubbing the mixture with my fingers to get the ‘crumble’ texture. Halfway through this process I add in the cinnamon, then continue the rubbing technique. That sounds really dirty but shut up and get on with your baking, you perverts.
5. Now grab those two greased cake pans and let’s get busy. Pour in roughly half the mixture into each pan – personally, I prefer to pour slightly more into one than the other, just so that the cake doesn’t end up as being top heavy when it’s fully constructed.
6. Cover the smaller cake with the streusel crumbs, and then put both cakes in the oven. You’ll notice that the cake batter does not fill the cake tins very much, and they reach a low level. That’s fine, because obviously they will rise a little as they cook.
So while those badboys are in the oven, it’s time to get involved with those apples…
7. Cut the apples into small pieces (I’ve seen in another applesauce recipe instructions to grate the apples, but I can’t be bothered with that…)
8. Stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
9. In a small saucepan, heat the chopped apples while adding the sugar and cinnamon mix one teaspoon at a time. Cook this for about 10 minutes, until the apples are nice and soft.
10. You can skip this step, but I like to mash the apples up – I wanted a smoother texture, and when the apples are soft enough from being cooked, they mash up easily. But you can always just use these apples in your cake the way they are up to this point.
11. Set this apple mix aside to cool a little, and check on your cakes. The toothpick test is the best way to do it, and I can’t guarantee you a cooking time, but last time I made them (which was this Friday just gone, in order to take pictures for this post because I’M A DEDICATED PROFESSIONAL)
12. Once the cakes are cooked, take them out to cool. The streusel covered one might be a bit tricky to remove if you haven’t got one of those pans with the fiddly bottom,but if you did the greaseproof paper thing, you should be fine. You’ll notice that my bottom cake fell apart for some bloody reason – well the reason is that I didn’t have any greaseproof paper and so relied purely on the greased tin. It was rubbish. But all is not lost…
13. The cakes should be cool now, and if you want to level out the top of the bottom layer cake, now’s the time to do it. Once that’s done, cover it in the applesauce and finish constructing the cake by putting the streusel-covered cake on top.
I am 99% sure that when Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”, she was talking about this delicious little treat. Enjoy your weekend, and may it be filled with streusel cake. Go forth and bake…