What an autumn day with her charateristic weather – rainy and windy, and cold! Brrrr.. Cinnamon apple cake with nutty streusel topping on this rainy day was what I needed and better still if you are nursing a cold like I have been the last couple of days. This was also to be my last bake in Venice. In between packing, I managed to squeeze in some backing time. Admittedly I had left over flour, butter, nuts and some apples – instead of throwing them out, why not bake a cake!
It is ‘hyggeligt’ (danish word for cosy), the smell of cinnamon reminds me of Christmas and did invoke a warm homey feeling somehow. We are in the midst of packing and while nursing my cold, taking a break from the boxes – this apple cake soothed the soul (or cold).
It was also easy to make. The recipe is from my Richard Sax Home Classic Desserts book. His apple cakes have never failed me in fact.
And here’s how to make it :
- 2 large golden apples peeled, cored and diced to about 1 inch thick (about 2 cups)
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour at room temperature
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp of salt
- 225 g of unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup milk
Nutty streusel topping:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbp of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped mixed nuts, pecan, walnuts and almonds
Preheat oven to 180 d Celsius. Butter a 23 x 23 cm square baking pan for a higher thicker cake or 23 x 33 cm for a flatter cake, lined the pan with greased parchment paper, set aside. Sift the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium high speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry flour mixture. Stir in the apples with a large spoon until blended. Do not overmix. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin .
For the topping, mix all the ingredients except the nuts together in a food processor. I just used my fingertips, tossing and pinching the butter with the other ingredients together, making sure the texture resembles breadcrumbs like when making short crust pastry. Finally stir in the nuts.
Scatter the streusel over the cake batter and bake for about 50 mins to 1 hour.
Let it cool for about 1 hour before serving. Can be served warm or cool completely. Great as a coffee cake or for any time snack.