Sunday, 11 November 2012

Apple Fudge (yes, FUDGE!) Cake

Browsing the net, I was immediately drawn to this recipe. It's ingredients ticks all the boxes for a delicious, warm, comforting treat. Apple, tick. Fudge, tick, tick. And a blend of those warm, comforting Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg etc.) tick times at least ten!

Sometimes baking can be a right faff. Measuring, weighing, endless mixing, following a recipe to the letter but never really knowing how it's going to turn out until an hour later at which point you realise you've forgotten to add something and it comes out all wrong! That's definitely happened to me in the past. But on the other hand, the measuring, weighing, recipe following and so forth can be really therapeutic. Especially after a day when your brain has been in overdrive; last minute essays, a stressful week at work or the like. There's something paradoxically relaxing about blindly following instructions and monotonously mixing that can take your mind away from daily stresses. Granted you can never get away from the fact that you won't really know how its going to turn out until an hour or so later, but if you're baking a cake, you are guaranteed it's, at the very least, going to be hot and sweet, which ain't half bad!

This simple recipe offers even more guarantee than just hot and sweet: you get sticky and caramelised from the apples and fudge,  and the alluring scent of warming Christmas spices wafting through the house the minute the cake goes into the oven. Not to mention the left over fudge to nibble on whilst clearing up (and I most certainly did!). So if you've had one of those days, this recipe's worth giving a go. 

So here's how to make delicious Apple and Fudge cake:

100g (about 1) apples peeled and cored

150g soft fudge (plus a little more to nibble on)
1tbsp mixed allspice (found in most supermarkets ready mixed, or make you own by mixing equal quantities of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves)
1tsp cinnamon
175g unsalted butter, at room temp (or blasted in the microwave until soft)
150g soft brown suger
2 eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
You will also need an 8" round baking tin or equivalent other shape, well greased and lined with baking parchment.

Start by slicing half the apple, and chopping the remaining half into small cubes. Chop the fudge into small cubes too cover the bottom of your baking tin with the sliced apples and half the cubed fudge. Toss the remaining apple in the allspice and cinnamon powders until all the apple pieces are well coated.
Now sprinkle half the spice coated apples into the tin on top of the layer of sliced apple and fudge. 
Next, cream the butter and sugar. I use a cake mixer but you can easily do this by hand. Once the butter and sugar are well combined add the eggs. I would crack the eggs into a separate bowl first (in case you get any shell debris which can be fished out using another, bigger piece of shell) and whisk them a little using a fork. This will make it easier to combine with the butter and sugar. 
Now add in the flour and baking powder. The mix will seem really thick but this is how it's meant to be as once the apple and fudge cook they will release a lot of moisture. 
Finally fold in the last of your cubed fudge and spice coated apple, then the mixture is ready for the tin.
Bake the cake in a pre heated oven for about an hour at 180 degrees. 

Once the cake is cooked through (check this by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean but maybe a little sticky at the end because of the apple on the bottom), turn out onto a wire rack to cool. I think this cake is best enjoyed warm with some clotted cream or ice cream on the side. Delicious!

Until next time...

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