Monday, 5 December 2011

Toffee Apple Fudge Cake

Remember Dine at Mine's Mummy, who invited me round to bake and blog and laid out all the ingredients in advance in teeny glass bowls like Delia? Well, she's at it again. She spotted this recipe on telly, started stockpiling fudge and before I knew it, we were a-baking and a-tasting on a Sunday morning. Before making a batch of mince pies in the afternoon. It's been quite a greedy weekend, to be honest.

Apple puddings are my all time favourite and I've been on the hunt for a good apple cake for a few years, but this is a pretty strong contender. Studded with lumps of fudge and cheeky chunks of fruit, topped with a sticky toffee layer of apple slices, it ticked almost all the right boxes.

Served hot with clotted cream or ice cream - or, let's be honest, both - the fudge chunks melted into pockets of goo in the middle of a damp and spicy cake. Once cold, it was slightly more difficult to eat: sticky, crumbly and (in the case of the fudge) chewy. But still tasty. And who cares how much of a mess you make of yourself at work? Well, don't ask my colleagues.

But in true nit-picking style, there are a few things I'd change next time. We queried the quantity of fruit and spices while making it - and while we decided to trust the recipe this time, it turns out that we WERE right and we SHOULD have doubled the fruit and halved the spice. Vindicated! In your face, recipe! Ahem. I mean, it's all a good learning experience and it's the taking part that counts, and all that stuff. We knew we were right though.

It will be all mincemeat and yule logs from now on but if you fancy a final autumnal fling before embracing the festive season, this cake is a good place to start. Just try not to eat all the little fudge bits before you get them into the cake. And remember that everything tastes better if all the ingredients are measured out in little glass bowls first. Didn't you see Delia? It's obviously what the cool kids do.


Toffee Apple Fudge Cake
Adapted from BBC Food website

- 200g red apples, peeled and cored (probably two apples)
- 150g soft fudge, cut into small chunks
- half a tablespoon of mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 175g butter, softened
- 150g dark soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm loose-bottomed tin. The melted fudge will try to glue this cake to the tin so you really do need to line it properly. I know, it's a pain.

Slice half of one of the apples thinly and chop the rest into small chunks. Scatter about half of the fudge into the bottom of the tin, and arrange the apple slices prettily on top. Toss the chunks of apple with the spices in a little bowl. 

Beat together the butter and sugar until it's paler and fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Add the flour and baking powder and beat just until smooth and well combined. Stir through the spicy apple and remaining chunks of fudge. The cake mix will seem quite solid but that makes up for the juiciness of the apple, so don't fret.

Spoon the cake mix over the apple and fudge in the tin, smooth off the top and bake for 45 mins to an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is starting to shrink away around the edges. Flip it out onto a plate and serve with something rich and creamy like ice cream or clotted cream. I don't think anyone would object to custard.

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