Saturday, 3 December 2011

Weekend Baking

Busy busy busy...It has been a crazy couple of months. My brother decided to get married at a drop of a hat so I flew to Malaysia for 2 weeks early November. Then I came back to to Christmas songs, frantic presents buying and Christmas market! I have to say 'Hail Amazon'! I have done almost all my Christmas shopping online which does take out the Christmas spirit somewhat. So I decided to head out to Bath and brace the crowd. So did I get the Christmas spirit?? Not even an ounce! I got grumpy walking around town then decided to head to Yen Sushi. While having my favourite soft shell crab roll, I contemplate heading home, put my jim jams on and bake a cake! I did exactly that.

When I was young, I often asked my mum at weekends why is she always making something and not resting having worked the whole week. Now I understand. Cooking helps me relaxed. Creating something new is quietly exciting and watching your loved ones enjoying what you create is satisfaction and a great sense of achievement. So sod going out. I'd rather spend more time cooking.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did which I found in a Waitrose magazine adapted from the River Cottage cookbook. Thank you Hugh.

Apple and Almond Pudding Cake

Serves 8

25 g unsalted butter
1 1/2 granulated sugar
4 dessert apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
1/4 ground cinnamon

150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
75g white or wholemeal self raising flour
75g ground almonds

1) Start with cooking the apples. Melt butter in pan and wait for it to sizzle. Add the sugar and stir until it bubbles. Add apples, sprinkle cinnamon, cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly caramelized and tender but holds its shape. Remove from heat and cool.
2) Preheat oven to 170 degrees gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the basement with baking parchment.
3) Beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Break 1 egg into the mixture and beat well then add the second egg along with the almond extract. Add a spoonful of flour (this helps the mixture curding)
4) Fold in the almonds and the rest of the flour with a large metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and using the back of the spoon and smooth the surface.
5) Arrange the apples neatly ontop of the mixture along with any juices from the pan.
6) Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before releasing the tin.
7) I serve mine with creme fraiche but you can use double cream, greek yoghurt or custard.

Happy Cooking!

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