Am I too late for Autumn bakes? I’m pretty sure everyone’s more interested in seeing mince pies, puddings and Christmas cakes right now but, oh well. If you’ve got an apple hanging around at the bottom of your fruit bowl looking a little too wrinkly to eat on its own, then here’s something you can make with it – and it’s perfect for eating warm, submerged in a bowl of custard. It’s still custard season, right?
Apple, Cinnamon& Salted Caramel Cake
- 1 apple (peeled, cored and chopped into little chunks)
- 120g self raising flour
- 120g butter
- 100g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 100ml milk (if needed)
- 75g chopped walnuts
- 75g chopped pieces of salted caramel
- Set your oven to 180° and grease a deep, round cake tin of your choice.
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar and then slowly add the eggs.
- Sieve in the flour and cinnamon and then fold in the chopped apple. If the mixture is looking a little dry then add a little milk.
- Put the cake in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and scatter the chopped walnuts and salted caramel over the top.
- Pop the cake back in the oven for a further 10 minutes (or until an inserted skewer or knife tip comes out clean).
- Best eaten swimming in hot custard – but that’s just me! 🙂
My brother has recently become obsessed with cheesecake – so obsessed in fact, that while I was away in Madeira he sneaked into my house to borrow a cake tin so he could try and make one himself. Long story short, he forgot to use full fat milk and sadly, it collapsed. Everyone’s first cheesecake is a disaster; when I was twelve I tried to make one I’d seen in a magazine, but I used cottage cheese and the wrong kind of cream and just ended up with a bowl of goop with chopped bananas floating in it. Bleugh! Even my Mum and Dad refused to eat that one, and – let me tell you – they’ve bravely eaten a lot of my kitchen disasters over the years. When I told them I was planning to make a cheesecake for my brother’s birthday I think they probably had flashbacks to the banana goop cake.
Thankfully since then I’ve mastered the Mallow Cake. It tastes like a cheesecake, it’s got a creamy texture like a cheesecake, but there’s no soft cheese to be found in the ingredients. It’s basically a mix of milk, marshmallows and whipped double cream, and it’s really easy to adapt with any flavours, base or toppings you fancy. Cheat’s Cheesecake. 🙂
- 300g of crushed biscuits (I used Oreos)
- 50g melted butter
- 150g plain marshmallows
- 125ml full fat milk
- 250ml double cream
- Blitz the biscuits in a blender and then stir in the melted butter. Transfer the mix into a cake tin with removable sides and press down to create the base.
- Put the marshmallows and milk in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat. Don’t let it boil! Remove the mix from the heat once it’s light and foamy.
- Whisk the cream to stiff peaks and then fold in the marshmallow mix (at this point you can add any flavours you fancy!).
- Pour the mix into the cake tin on top of the base and then allow it to set in the fridge for at least four hours, but overnight is preferable.
- Once the cake is set, remove from the tin and decorate. I added salted caramel sauce and chopped toffee popcorn.
I know, I know! January is supposed to be a time for shelving the snacks and substituting cake for kale and spirits for smoothies, blah, blah, blah… But guess what? January is OVER. It’s done for another year, thank God, and I don’t know about you but this time of year I’m always in need of a few pick-me ups to get me through to Spring.
Over in Sweden ’tis the season for scoffing Semlor. These cardamom-flavoured buns stuffed with plenty of whipped cream and almond paste (marzipan) are traditionally eaten between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, and they’re really good (…unless you’re trying to lose weight!). They’re also relatively easy to make if you’ve got a bread-maker or a dough hook.
Semlor – (Fat Buns)
For the Buns:
- 125ml milk
- 50g butter
- 1/2 a packet of instant yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 20g sugar
- 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp of orange zest
- 225g strong white flour
- An egg (beaten) to glaze
For the filling:
- 100g of grated marzipan
- 100ml milk
- Squirty cream 🙂
- Heat the milk until warm, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Allow it melt into the milk and then cool to lukewarm.
- Peel open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Grind them into a powder. Grate the orange peel.
- Once the milk and butter have combined and cooled slightly, pour them into the bread machine/mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients (including cardamom and orange zest) on top. If you’re using a bread machine, set it to the dough programme (number 6 on mine).
- Once the dough is done separate into six equal balls, cover with cling film and allow to rest until they’ve doubled in size.
- Brush with the beaten egg and then cook in a preheated oven (180°C) for around twenty minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to turn them once or twice to get an even colour!
- Once cooled, slice the tops off the buns and scoop out a little of the inside into a bowl. Combine with the marzipan and milk to make a paste. Fill the buns with the paste and then the cream – then replace the tops. Dust with icing sugar to finish.
Scoff and worry about your waistline later.
These plum peaks are perfect when snow-capped with a generous splodge of brandy cream, and smell amazing fresh out of the oven 🙂
Continue reading “Boozy Plum Puds”