Friday, June 5, 2009

Coffee and Apple Cake

Yes, that's my doona/duvet in the photo. I was sitting on my bed, just about plough into my piece of cake, the last piece of cake, when I realised I hadn't taken any photos of my Coffee and Apple Cake. You see, I like cake best when it's fresh out of the oven, still warm. So I bake when people are already over. Then the cake (or pudding, or cookies, or whatever) gets eaten straight away. So there's only photos if something is leftover the next day, and only if I can remember to take the photo before sticking that something in my gob.

This cake is a total crowd pleaser (unless it comes out of the oven looking like this!). I have one friend who, when my name and baking are mentioned together, will tell anyone in ear shot about this cake, even though I've made it for her only maybe three times in the ten years that I've known her. She even expressed more desire for it than a Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake! I think that's going a little far, but the Coffee and Apple Cake is the perfect afternoon cake. It's a very moist cake, slightly crumbly and best eaten with a fork. The flavours of the brown sugar, coffee, apple, and cinnamon work so perfectly together. Everyone needs a piece of this cake.

I had a pretty extensive look online for the same or similar recipes, and I was surprised that I came up empty. The recipe is originally from a Woman's Weekly cake book - hardly an obscure source. So here it is, with the small changes made by my mum and I over the years.

Coffee and Apple Cake with Caramel Icing

1/2 cup sultanas
1 tbs instant coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
90g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 large apple, grated

Line a 22cm square cake tin with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celcius.

Combine the sultanas, coffee, and boiling water in a bowl, cool to room temperature.

Cream butter, vanilla essence, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, beat in egg; beat until combined. Stir in half the sifted flour, cinnamon, and bi-carb soda along with half the coffee and sultana mixture, then stir in the rest of the flour and sultana mixtures. Stir in grated apple and walnuts.

Spread batter into cake tin and bake for 25-30 min.

Caramel Icing
2 tbs brown sugar
30g butter
1 tbs milk
1 cup icing sugar

Combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan, stirring constantly over heat without boiling, until smooth. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in sifted icing sugar.

Note: The coffee flavour in the cake is pretty subtle, so if you really like coffee feel free to make the 1/2 cup of liquid as strong as you can, and/or use real espresso. Also, I sometimes make coffee flavoured icing instead of caramel, to increase the coffee flavour.

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