Saturday, 22 October 2011

Fruit Tea Loaf

My hubby has been under the weather this week with a cold and what better way to cheer him up than with one of his favourite cakes. I've baked this fruit tea loaf many times and it is so easy to make and keeps well. It is moist and full of flavour and hubby loves it with a thick layer of butter and a cup of tea.

Fruit Tea Loaf

Makes approx. 10 slices

1 x 250ml cup tea
375g mixed dried fruit
125g dark brown sugar
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of ground cloves
1 egg

Make the cup of black tea (just using a tea bag), and pour it into a bowl with the dried fruits and sugar; stir well, then leave to macerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 170oC/fan oven 150oC/ gas 3. Line a 900g loaf tin with a paper liner or butter the tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.

Beat the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cloves into the tea-soaked fruit, and then beat in the egg. Spoon and scrape into the lined loaf tin, and bake for 1 hour - or until cooked - before letting the cake cool it its tin on a rack.

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Monday, 17 October 2011

Dutch Apple Cake

It has been a long time since I last blogged and I’m sorry for being away for so long. It was a busy summer with family over from Spain and along the way I lost my blogging mojo. I haven’t done as much baking over the past couple of months but I did bake our favourite cookies a few times, which I’ve blogged about so many times before. A couple of weeks ago we picked our fill of cooking apples from the apple trees during a lovely weekend stay at “The Lodge”. I have enough apples to see me through many bakes. I chose this revisited Dutch Apple Cake to kick-start my blogging and start to make a dent in the mountain of apples.

This flavoursome cake has a very light and fluffy sponge, with a lovely juicy bite from the apple slices and topped with a sugary crust. Great served warm with hot custard or as an afternoon treat with a cuppa.

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Dutch Apple Cake

Makes 12-16 squares

2 eggs
175g caster sugar, plus 15g extra for sprinkling
½ tsp vanilla extract
85g butter
75ml milk
125g plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
2 small (or 1 large) cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
double cream or custard, to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200oC/180oC Fan/Gas Mark 6. Line the sides and base of a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) square cake tin with parchment paper.

Using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and the whisk leaves a figure of eight pattern (this will take about 5 minutes).

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk, then pour onto the eggs, whisking all the time. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and fold carefully into the batter so that there are no lumps of flour. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.

Arrange the apple slices over the batter. (They will sink to the bottom.) Sprinkle over a tablespoon of sugar and bake in the oven for ten minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180oC/160oC Fan/Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 20–25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Cut into squares and serve warm with cream or custard.