Friday, June 1, 2012

[in the kitchen] Apple Tea Cake

Note: There's a novel before the recipe... if you just want to bake the cake... skip to the end!

So my Mini Man is something of a fussy eater... we're getting better but it's a slow progression.  Every morning he has 1x wheet bix with banana, yoghurt & sultanas, followed by 1 or 2 slices of toast with peanut butter or vegemite... he's a big eater, just a creature of habit - he's not up for trying new foods to readily.

I hear you ask... what on earth does this information have to do with Apple Tea Cake?  Trust me... there is a connection... there is a point... there usually is with most of my stories, just sometimes takes a journey to get to the point (it's the McGarry genes, I was born with this amazing ability, thanks Dad!)

So... here it is, the connection between Luka's breakfast & Apple Tea Cake...

One morning recently we had run out of bananas and had no other fruit in the house, except crunchy pink lady apples, which just wouldn't have cut it on cereal for "Captain Fussy-bum Toddler Pants"... I searched the pantry for the emergency can of pears or peaches that we normally stock in the BE Hive to find Queen BE (that's me) had neglected to restock after the last emergency use of these items... but I did find a can of pie apples and thought to self that these would cut it: they're sweet, they're soft, he'll LOVE it... fast forward to Luka sitting in his high chair ready to eat breakfast & you guessed it... pie apples REJECTED.

We moved on Mini Man was sufficiently fed breakfast less fruit and we merrily went about our day, we had Grandma (Mr BEs beautiful Mamma) visiting to keep me company and help with the boys while Mr BE was away for work, so there were lots of wonderful adventures to be had.

A little while later I was trying to think of the best way to use up those pie apples, waste not want not & all that.   I thought of doing a crumble but this would make a large desert that Grandma & I wouldn't get through... then I decided I could make a simple vanilla/butter cake & chuck the apples on top, ala, Apple Tea Cake!! This would be perfect, a cake doesn't need to be eaten in one sitting.

I don't have a lot of cakes in my baking repertoire, so I turned to the internet to find a basic recipe for inspiration, and this is the result...

(original recipe credit: Quick Apple Tea Cake)

What's in it...
  • 1 heaped cup SR flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 can pie apples
  • nutmeg, sugar & cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)
Put it all together...
this part is SO easy... to me it feels just as easy as whipping up a packet mix cake, without all the additives that may be lurking in there.
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
    you could grease & flour, but I choose baking paper always to avoid ever sticking to the tin... I'm lazy like that, plus it is easier to get the apple covered cake out neatly!
  3. Place all ingredients in a bowl in the order stated.
  4. Mix well for 2 mins with an electric mixer.
    I have a cheap little hand mixer that can be a bit messy on start up, so I give the beaters a good stir by hand to wet down the flour etc before I turn them on, this helps avoid the big dust cloud of flour being thrown up.
  5. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin.
  6. Place the tin of pie apples evenly over the top of the batter.
  7. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon & sugar.
  8. Cook for 45mins or until skewer comes out clean & the top looks lightly golden.
This cake is great served warm from the oven with a little drizzle of cream (ooh wicked!) or simply cooled and cut up with a cuppa at morning tea.

It was a hit with Grandma, and we were both surprised it kept well for several days.


the steps
putting it together...
out of the oven
... out of the oven ...
on my plate
... on my plate... yummm!

Allergy Tips:
  • EGGS  The first time I made it this cake, I neglected to put the egg in (I blame the children distracting me, it's a good excuse & I'm sticking to it!!) and realised just as I had the whole shebang ready to pop in the oven... so I cooked it anyway & hoped for the best - it worked out fine, so if you don't have one or can't for allergy reasons, leave it out!  
  • GLUTEN  I have made this one Gluten Free, it works out well with a straight swap for GF SR flour.  I just found I needed to add a little more flour (less than 1/4 cup) to make the batter slightly thicker - test by beating up with standard measurements first & then add a little more if the batter seems too runny.

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