9 September 2011

Chocolate and Apple Cake

Where I live there is an abundance of fruit every summer and my dad has a trade going on with our neighbours so we get some of everything but still end up with a ridiculous amount of plums.  Across the road there is an orchard so I'm eating stewed apple at just about every meal (amazing with agave nectar, just saying) and was going to make some apple turnovers with some until I remembered a cake I've been wanting to re-create for a while.

Mum took me a little cafe in a nearby village maybe last summer and we had sandwiches and a slice of cake each; the cake I had was a chocolate sponge with chunks of apple in the sponge, filled with fresh whipped cream and topped with demerara sugar.


My version is filled with whipped cream mixed with fresh raspberries from our vegetable patch and covered with cream and demerara sugar.

Chocolate Apple Cake
1 large cooking apple
6oz self-raising flour (minus 1tbsp replaced with cocoa powder)
6oz butter
6oz sugar
3 eggs
dash of milk

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degress and grease and line two 7" round pans.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3) Beat in the eggs one at a time
4) Fold in the flour and the dash of milk
5) Peel, core and chop up the apple into small chunks and fold through the mix
5) Bake for around 20 minutes.

As mine had cream it had to be eaten pretty quickly, not really a problem in this house.

5 September 2011

(budget looking) Battenburg Cake

After promising to make my sister a battenburg cake for about 4 weeks I gave in last week when she was away and had a go.  I had it in my head the cake would be fiddly and difficult to make - I suffered through the first episode of this series of the 'Great British Bake-Off' and watched the contestants make some hash-jobs of the cake and a few beauties, so I wasn't overly keen to try!

However, the hardest part was lining the tin so I could cook both colour at once...mum did it for me because I couldn't quite work out how to (defiately worth going to University...) and then rolling the thing up in the marzipan.  As a result mine does like a bit budget but I did not make the fuss they made on the tv and I quite enjoyed making it so I'll have another go and try and make it look a bit better!

the batter was so pretty I had to take a photo

 If you look from further away you can see the pinching on the edges of the cake which distracts your eye from the gaps between the sponges where I didn't press them together enough because I had jam all over my hands.

Battenburg Cake

175g/6oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing

175g/6oz golden caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
175g/6oz self-raising flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
red food colouring

For the covering:6 tbsp apricot jam
                           500g/1lb 2oz ready-made marzipan
                           2–3 tbsp icing sugar, for rolling.

1) Preheat the oven to 190C and grease a 20cm/8in square, loose-based cake tin with butter.
            -Take a 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in strip of baking parchment and make a 8cm/3in fold in the       centre. This will create a division in the cake so that the two differently coloured sponges can be cooked at the same time (or ask your mum for help)
2) Cream the sugar and butter until creamy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla then fold in the flour. 
            - half the mixture and colour one half pink with a few drops of red food colouring
3) Pour the batters into the tin, keeping the division in the centre and bake for 25 minutes - If the sponges have risen unevenly, press the surface gently until level (read this after you've made the cake then realise it would have helped).
4) To assemble the cake,place one sponge on top of the other and trim off the crusty edges so they're both the same size; cut the sponges in half lengthways to make four long rectangles.
5) Warm the apricot jam in a saucepan then press through a fine sieve.
6) Brush the long side of one of the sponges with jam and sandwich together with a sponge of a contrasting colour. Do the same with the other two sponges.
7) Sandwich the two pairs of sponges together like a checker board and brush the top and sides with jam.
8) Roll a rectangle of marzipan of about 40cm x 20cm on a surface dusted with icing sugar;large enough to wrap the cake completely, leaving the ends exposed, and be about 5mm/¼in thick.
9) Turn the cake upside down on the marzipan and brush the underside of the sponges with jam.
10) Wrap the marzipan around the cake, pressing it gently onto the surface of the sponges, and press the edges together to make a firm join.
11) Turn back over with the seam underneath, trim a thin slice off each end and pinch the edges so people don't notice if you botched it up anywhere and feed to anyone nearby.