Monday, 16 March 2009

Apple and Cranberry loaf

After a bit of a horrible day off - me with the grumps, an aunt downstairs with a very loud voice, I finally got round to baking. Bring it on! I used up the apples, overdosing the cake with them since I'm sure four granny smiths does not equal 2 cups (see the massive chunks in the picture). But it all turned out well. I had the apple corer/slicer thing which I bought for a quid, and aside from drenching my top in apple juice, it did the job fine. I also managed to use a cup of cranberries, leaving another cup to use up tomorrow I guess, but since it's been sitting in my freezer since Christmas it's time.

My verdict on this cake? I love it. The apples are slightly too bland, probably because they've sat around for awhile and because the chunks are so big, but the cranberries work a treat alongside. Plus it would seem this cake is ridiculously healthy. No butter, just 2 tbsp of oil and one egg. It lacks some punch though, so I think next time I'll add some more spice or lemon peel just to give it a boost. As it was I put a tsp of mixed spice rather than the original cinnamon requested, but other than giving it a lovely colour and smell, it doesn't offer much in the way of warmth or depth.

It does look a bit of a stunner though doesn't it? Mother dearest commented I should have put those peeled almonds round the edge like in dundee cake. What you don't get in dundee cake (I suspect at least, because I never made it myself) is the sheer lumpiness of this cake pre-bake. I wish I took pictures, but it went in as a pile of apples coated in brown batter. It is pretty amazing how it expands and becomes a cake though.

Picture of the sliced wedge just to show how chunky the apples were. It was ever so slightly raw in the top of the dome in the middle, but we ate it anyway. Not entirely convinced skewer trick works given the amount of fruit in the mix.

Since this was a recipe worth repeating, especially how healthy it felt. Please see below.

Apple and Cranberry loaf

2 cups peeled, chopped apple
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 cup cranberries (I used frozen dunked in water briefly)
(The original recipe calls for chopped walnuts but I chose not to sully my cakes with nuttier elements - feel free if you want = 1/2 cup chopped walnuts at the same time as the cranberries)

1. Apples, sugar, oil and egg - mix.
2. Add everything else bar the cranberries.
3. Mix well and then stir in the cranberries (wait till now otherwise you'll just have pink cake with lots of cranberry skins. Not a bad thing. Just pink.)
4. Place in a lightly greased pan. I used a deep round cake tin with a loose base. I'm not convinced not greasing it would have mattered, but will experiment with that next time.
5. Cook for 1 hour at Gas Mark 5 until skewer comes out clean.

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