I've said before that cinnamon is one the the flavours I ultimately associate with America. Having some apples lying about looking a bit forlorn in my fridge I thought a good dousing in sugar and cinnamon wouldn't do them any hard.
With Fall upon us I thought a squidgy, sweet, cinnamony apple cake would be in fine order.
1 cup/230g margarine/Baking Butter
1/2 cup/100g white sugar plus 1 tablespoon for the topping
1/2 cup/100g soft brown sugar
1 apple for the cake, 1 apple for the topping
2 cups/230g all purpose/plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon for the cake, 1 teaspoon for the topping
Mix together the baking butter and sugars until they are smooth and creamy.
Peel and grate one of the apples and add into the sugary butter, beat well until the apple is well distributed and there are no big lumps.
Break and whisk the eggs in a separate bowl or mug. Have your flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon on a sieve over a plate ready to one side. Pour in about an eighth of the beaten egg then shake over about the same of the flour mixture, fold together. Whilst most cake recipes call for this stage to be done with a metal spoon and with great care, you still need to mix everything together well. Nobody wants a mouthful of flour. Rather than beating the mixture as you did with the baking butter and sugar, stir together slowly but well enough to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.
Continue adding a little eggs then a little flour until it's all added and mixed in.
Line a cake pan, I used a large loaf tin which is about 11in/28cm x 6in/15cm and about 3in/8cm deep, with waxed paper. I've got a great little tip for lining pans with unruly paper- look out for it in the hints section soon!
Pour in the your cake mixture and smooth over with the back of a oiled tablespoon. The oily surface will stop too much cake batter from sticking to it.
Slice the remaining apple into very, very thin segments, it's your choice whether to peel it or not.
Arrange the slices across the top of the cake in a fan pattern. In a cup, mix together a tablespoon of white sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon, sprinkle this over the appled top of you cake and pop onto the middle shelf of a preheated oven at 360f/180c for about 35-40 minutes.
After this time use a skewer or think knife to check if your cake is done, piece the thickest, fattest part of the cake and draw out the skewer slowly. If the skewer is clean from batter then it is done. If there is still cake mix on the skewer, pop the cake back in for another 5-10 minutes before checking again.
Resist the temptation to turn up the oven heat, this will only cause the outside of your cake to burn and the center to rise quickly, creating a volcanic type cake!
This is lovely with a morning cup of tea or coffee, or served warm with some vanilla ice cream or custard as the evening get a bit cooler.