Cake of the Month ~ Apple-Clove Cake

Friday, 14 September 2012


In between obsessively tracking my Amazon parcel to see if it has got any farther south than Strathclyde, reading Ann Cleeves' compelling Shetland quartet and trying to persuade my family that toilet roll tubes belong in the recycling box I have been baking an apple cake for September because what other kind of cake would you want in September?.

I love solid cakes, cakes that have substance, cakes that aren't all sweetness and icing. This cake is such a cake. It's not impressive, nor is it glamorous. It's what the birders call an sbj  - small brown job  and none the worse for it. It is economical, requiring only modest amounts of butter and eggs. And it is a doddle* to make. It's a rubbed-in cake. You rub the butter and flour together to make a breadcrumb-like mixture, then you stir in the sugar and apples and finally mix in the egg and milk.



Options

Change the spices ~ I have called it apple-clove cake because I love cloves with apples. My mum always put a few in her apple pies. If you don't care for cloves then use cinnamon or mixed spice or simply omit the spice altogether. If you can't read my squashed writing it's ½ a teaspoon of ground cloves.

Add some dried fruit or nuts ~ For extra interest add 3 oz of sultanas or chopped walnuts.

Use different sugar ~ Don't worry if you have no soft brown sugar, ordinary caster or granulated sugar will be fine. The two tablespoons of demerara are to sprinkle on the cake before it goes in the oven.

Peel your apples ~ For reasons of health and laziness I grate my apples unpeeled working around the core. It's quick and easy. I grate straight into my scales pan until I've got 8 oz. If you peel them though you will have slightly more refined cake. You could also chop them finely instead of grating them.

Change the flour ~ Try it with wholemeal plain flour for added wholesomeness. It may not rise as much though.

Go metric ~ Use 225g of flour and grated apple, 115g of butter and sugar, 85g of sultanas/nuts and 100ml of milk.





*Spellcheck does not think doddle is a word.  It is.

55 comments:

  1. That is absolutely my sort of cake too Sue and I intend to try your recipe over the weekend. In fact my mouth is watering at the thought! Hope all is well with you and yours xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. How much clove please? It looks very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh flipping heck. I knew I'd miss something out if I did the recipe on a card. I have amended my card, re-photographed it and edited the post.

      It's half a teaspoon of ground cloves and thanks for spotting that Toffee x

      Delete
    2. Thank you Sue, I suspect I would have added more and spoiled the whole thing.

      Delete
  3. Looks glorious,Sue - I shall make it as well and share with my mum! I hope your kids have got to grips with the recycling because mine still struggle...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yum! I've just returned with a basket laden with apples from my Mum's garden so this has come just at the right time. I love cloves too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My sort of cake too
    No faffing with frosting and filling
    Good solid Proper Eating Cake
    thanks for the recipe

    ReplyDelete
  6. doddle is definitely a word! this looks delicious :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just copied that down - I know my lot will love that :)

    Doddle is a word - silly Blogger!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yum, perfect for the windy weekend. I think you should complain Sue, my 'parcel' arrived yesterday and we are out in the sticks, gorgeous gorgeous book. I can't put it down. I love the way he cherishes good food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I opted for super saver delivery. Wish I hadn't now.

      Delete
  9. Thanks so much for the recipe Sue - it's just what I fancy right now and I was pondering how to use the apples my neighbours have just given us. It does sound like the perfect autumn cake.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous5:59 pm BST

    Ginger is very good with apples. My brother informed me a few years after my Mom died that that was the secret of her apple pies - ground ginger as well as cinnamon. I now use it too, and it is great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginger with apples sounds good. Thanks for the tip.

      Delete
  11. I only needed to see the photos in order to bookmark this page...
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is exactly the kind of cake I prefer best. I love apple cake.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just realised I can't prefer best as to prefer means to like best!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This reminds me of a sweet little book that is one of our early-autumn favorites - just pinned it. And your cake looks delectable!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm with you in preferring sbjs to frivolous iced ones. Another one for the autumn collection!

    ReplyDelete
  16. PS Your 'new look' is growing on me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pressed the wrong button just then. I will be adding your cake recipe to my to do list for ths weekend. Recognised the obsessive tracking of parcels. Have you ever tracked a parcel and found it came out for delivery and then went back to the delivery office?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cloves for apple pies. Cinnamon for apple cakes. Sorry, that the rule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may well be right Alice but I like to break rules.

      Delete
  20. Sbj I love it. My favourite type of cake too. Will be giving this a try sooner rather than later!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anything that's a doddle has my vote...

    ReplyDelete
  22. * I'm with you on "Doddle"
    ** do you sprinkle the sugar on top before you cook the cake or when it's hot out of the oven?
    Looks great, can't wait to try it.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Helsie. That's something else I forgot to make clear. You sprinkle the demerara sugar on the cake before it goes in the oven.

      Delete
  23. that sounds delicious, I like cakes you can personalise and still don't let you down.

    (sbj... funny)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think we could start a trend back to real cakes as opposed to 'lofty confections' judging by the comments here. As for Apple spices, I really miss the special blend that Culpepper's did. In fact I used it for lots of other fruit recipes besides apples. My Mum found Chinese 5 Spice mix was good too and when you look at what is in it, it has some of the more traditional spices that we use with apple. Love the recipe card!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I used to love that Culpeper blend too. I remember the box it came in.In fact all those blends were lovely weren't they? Such a shame they stopped selling herbs and spices. They've gone bust now.
      Chinese 5 spice is a good idea.

      Delete
  25. Lovely looking cake Sue, makes me hungry! Bottom book is Monty & Sarah Don's Home Cookbook. Really lovely book, I enjoy cooks who write about food rather than simply straightforward recipes. Got it in a remainder bookshop for a fiver. Love it, lovely photography. Nothing elaborate food wise, you'd knock them into a cocked hat I reckon!

    I picked up the new NS in Sainsbury's last night while dashing through. £12.50 struck me as a bargain, £5 more even on amazon, so treated myself.

    Have a smashing weekend.
    Stephx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. £12.50! Not only is my book languishing in Strathclyde it is costing me £5 more that yours. I will have a look at the Don book, thanks Steph x

      Delete
  26. (I have noticed that the majority of my comments here begin with the word 'yum'.) Yum! This looks seriously delicious. In fact I've just rung my Mum to see if there are any more eating apples on her tree. Now I'm off to look for rosehip recipes as she tells me she has a ton of them!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love that apple cake! Will make one with a dash of my favourite, Allspice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely, I'd forgotten about allspice.

      Delete
  28. Hmmm, turned out great! Thank you so much for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Must give it a whirl, it looks and sounds delicious. My other half brought home cookers rather than eaters from the farm shop yesterday (you see we have to buy, being in London :( ).
    By the way, he also says it's LBJ (little brown job), pedant that he is.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Stop Press...the apple cake (made with ground cardamon instead of cloves for the Scandi-twist)has just gone down a storm after our village Sunday walk, and there was some stiff competition. Recipe requested by several others, so you may be gaining some more devoted followers shortly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kate! Cardamom is such a good idea, and as you say very Scandinavian. I shall try it next time I make it which will probably be tomorrow as it went down very well here too. Thanks x

      Delete
  31. Looks and sounds good. Will give it a go I think.
    I love imperial measurements. Mine are proper scales with brass weights. I hate it when recipes are in metric only, as they are in lots of new books now.
    Keep it up, we love your blog here.
    Claire.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Looks and sounds delicious - love the idea of a sbj. I've just made an lgj (large green job), and had to scrape off the 'g' in order to eat it. Brilliant idea to grate the apples, I've some tired-looking specimens in the fruit bowl (too many journeys to and from school in the girls' lunch bags) which will be perfect for grating into a cake.

    All the comments relating to the various spices reminded me of an apple cake I made a while back called Herman the Friendship cake - have you ever come across these? You are given a cake and a jar of cake starter which you then stir and feed over several days, time consuming and ever so slightly sinister (the fact that it has a name and it's growing) but it tastes great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've read about friendship cakes. Not made one but have made sourdough bread atarter. Yes, time consuming and not as nice as yeasted bread.

      Delete
  33. That's a yummy looking cake. It's reminded me that I must go out and pick the apples off our Bramley apple tree. Like your blog, found it through someone else's. I think it was Charlottes plot.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I made your cake with Eve apples for my birthday at the weekend (it's spring here and so not many cooking apples around) and a handful of dried cranberries. it was really lovely. I served it with choice of softly whipped cream or greek yoghurt. I really like the demerara sugar on top. This will now be my new favorite topping for cakes and muffins!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Greetings from Canada!
    Your recipe looks excellent, and I'll definitely give it a try with our overload of apples. (I will have to peel ours though as they're not sprayed and tend to be a bit wormy :o(
    Also, I think the word is "dawdle" as in what a child does -- at first I thought you'd written "doodle"!
    Cheers,
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the word is definitely doddle. It means something that is very easy to do. It is British slang and is in the Oxford English Dictionary.

      Hope you like the cake :)

      Delete
  36. Apple and clove hits all the right notes for me. Very reminiscent of my New England roots :) Will try it. x

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well this recipe has just been trialled in little old NZ. Smelt delicious whilst cooking, looks great, forgot to sprinkle the sugar on before cooking though. Never mind - I am sure my children will love this for morning and afternoon teas. I did cheat though - used the food processor to blend butter and flour and to chop the apples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking of using the fp myself next time ;)

      Delete
  38. Anonymous1:59 pm BST

    Hi,

    Just made cake, smelt lovely, and was indeed a doddle to make!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous9:42 am BST

    I've been struggling to make enormous hand-made curtains, interlined, buckram triple pleats, hours and days of hand sewing, just about ready to set fire to the whole damned things... then I read your blog over a cup of restorative coffee, realised it would take me literally minutes (cheated by using food processor) to make and promised myself that a final push would be rewarded with tea and CAKE! The smell of it baking spurred me on and I finally finished the last buckram pleat... The cake was by now cooling on the rack, so I made tea and cut an enormous piece of cake (well away from the sewing)and it was delicious and so easy to whip up... a proper brown cake - a just reward, I told myself. Thank you for the recipe - it will become a regular here! AnnaC

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for the apple and clove cake recipe, I changed the cloves for cinnamon and it went down an absolute storm here! I think it will become a regular in this household!

    ReplyDelete

The Quince Tree All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger