November 26, 2014 by sarah
This recipe is dedicated to my American and German friends and now I’ll explain why. ‘Bund’ roughly means gathering in German (please correct me if Google is wrong) so I guess that this traditional ring cake would be to feed a group of people, hopefully friends, so it would be a ‘bundkuchen’. An alternative German translation is ‘waistband’ so probably equally suitable! Bundt is actually the trademarked name given to cast aluminum pans by Nordic Ware made in North America and made popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s. But bundt cakes seem to have been around longer than that and probably are an evolution of the gugelhopf/kugelhopf, a cake made of yeasted dough and baked in a similar tin. I guess a sponge cake is quicker and easier for most people these days than an enriched yeasted dough. There is no one recipe that defines a bundt cake so it is completely open to interpretation – my ideal. Because a large point of a bundt cake is the molded decoration on the cake (and therefore the cost of the tin), bundt cakes are generally simply decorated with icing sugar or a pour-over glaze.
I have been drooling over pretty bundt cakes in bloggerland for many weeks now. Though just a cake, the distinctive ring shapes with folds and peaks really pulls this cake into another level of sculptural. But I really did not feel like paying £30 plus for one of the ultra pretty Nordic Ware ones. Until I found one half price in TK Maxx this past Friday; I couldn’t resist. So cake tin bought, I needed a recipe that would do justice to my new tin. Big problem; all the recipes I could find were in cups and sticks of butter. For a precise chemical reaction such as cake making, inaccurate and annoying American measurements are infuriating. So I made up my own recipe, a sort of amalgamation of several different recipes from the USA which I converted to weight measurements and added some inspiration of my own. I have to admit it worked out well and I will be looking forward to experimenting with my pretty tin again in the future.
This cake is lovely and moist and looks so impressive sitting on a pretty cake stand with glaze dribbling down the sides. The glaze forms a tasty crust and helps the cake keep longer, as does the addition of ground almonds. I think this would make a perfect Thanksgiving centre piece for those of us who don’t like pumpkin pie or who don’t live in the USA. Although the recipe list looks extensive, it really isn’t. If you haven’t got all the spices, try substituting ground mixed spice.
Spiced Apple Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze
Makes 12-14 servings
225g unsalted butter, soft
150g golden caster sugar
150g soft brown sugar
250g plain flour
75g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
5 medium eggs
200ml natural yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
30ml or so of milk
3-4 medium apples (about 400-450g), peeled, cored and finely chopped
100g chopped pecans, toasted
For the glaze –
120g icing sugar
30g unsalted butter
50ml maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC/160 ºC fan. Generously grease and flour a 12 cup (1.4 L) bundt tin. My tin is 10 cup capacity so I also greased four mini loaf tins.
In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients except the sugars.
In a jug, mix together the yogurt, vanilla extract, eggs and lemon zest until the eggs are well beaten.
In another large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy; you will probably want to use an electric mixer for this. With a large spoon mix in the wet ingredients and then the dry but do not over mix (there should still be streaks of flour). If at this stage the batter is rather dry then add some milk – I needed 30ml. Add the pecans and apples and mix again until well mixed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared bundt tin – it should not be filled more than three quarters full so if you have extra mix then put it in additional tins.
Place in the middle of the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour; smaller cakes will take proportionally less time (the mini tins took 30 minutes).
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Meanwhile make the glaze; heat the butter and maple syrup in a small pan until melted and bubbling. Take off the heat and beat in the sugar and then the vanilla. Leave to cool to thicken and pour over the cake once the cake is cold otherwise the icing will just run off.
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October 17, 2014 by sarah
This recipe makes wonderful use of the windfall apples that are plentiful at this time of year. These are apples that are ugly with blemishes, or slightly bruised from falling off or being picked, and not suitable for storage. I made this recipe with apples I picked from a hedgerow tree which is on my drive to work. The apples are crisp, juicy and sweet and very similar to a Golden Delicious but not at all fluffy in texture like the worst of the ones in the supermarket. Unfortunately we didn’t gather enough this year for it to be worth making cider so I used some of last years very fine cider to add to this cake. Everywhere was telling me that this was a bumper year for apples; it wasn’t for me. We have 5 bottles of last year’s cider left so when they are drunk (and always savoured), I will have to resort to buying some. Oh well, hopefully I can find a local supply of Mill Whites Rum Cask cider – lovely!
This recipe is taken from ‘The Great British Book of Baking’ by Linda Collister. This cake doesn’t keep very well because it is very moist so eat up! It is absolutely delicious warm, served with cream/custard/ice cream or all three if you are of that persuasion. The lovely appley chunks are counter balanced by the tang of the cider in the background – you are going to love it!
Cider Apple Cake
175g soft unsalted butter
175g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, at room temperature
250g self-raising flour
about 500g tart eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons of demerara sugar or flaked almonds, for sprinkling
Grease a 23cm springform tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC/ fan 160 ºC.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs and add gradually to this. If it looks like it is curdling then add a spoonful of the flour.
Sift over the rest of the flour and fold in gently.
Add the cider and apples and mix well until thoroughly combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top and sprinkle over the demerara sugar or flaked almonds.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour – it is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then completely cool on a wire rack or eat while warm.
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