The last couple of weeks at work have been so busy that it's sometimes hard to remember that it's still only November (just). All the baking has been Christmas orientated recently as well and it seems like a long time since I've made anything new but this week I've been craving a really good, deep, apple cake and after a bit of browsing I found exactly what I wanted in Anne Shooter's 'Sesame &Spice'.
'Grandma's Apple Cake' is spectacular with coffee - the idea of cake to go with coffee rather than tea (I'm a tea drinker) 'coffee cakes' feels weirdly exotic to me (I'm not just a tea drinker, I'm also a creature of habit). There's nothing especially exotic about the combination of apples, cinnamon, and cake but it's a classic and the particular joy of this one is its generous dimensions.
Grease and properly line a 20 x 8cm springform or loose bottomed tin. I was lazy, didn't properly line the tin, and caramelised some of the apples.
Measure out 450g of caster sugar (I know it's a lot) and put 5 tablespoons of it in a bowl along with the juice of a lemon and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Take 5 eating apples, no need to peel, and cut them into thin slices, removing the cores. Toss them in the sugar mix.
Turn the oven to170 degrees C/ Gas 3 (fan oven 150, which may be why this cake took a really long time to book in my oven)
Take the rest of the sugar and mix it with 4 eggs, a tablespoon of vanilla extract, 250mls of sunflower oil, 60mls of milk, and 60mls of orange juice. Add 375g of plain flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and half a teaspoon of salt. The batter will be runny.
Pour a quarter of the batter into the cake tin, then a third of the apples, continue layering finishing up with batter on top. Bake for roughly an hour and a half or until done (my oven took closer to 2 hours). Leave in the tin for a good ten minutes before turning out (I didn't read that bit properly, the cake was hot as hell, it needs the 10 mins).