With the snow falling outside and temps down to 1C, what better to warm the heart than a delicious teacake made from seasonal ingredients such as apples and walnuts combined with natural yogurt? This is indeed the time of year in which to invite friends who live locally or those neighbours that you’ve been putting off as indeed I am guilty of not doing, to tea as all other activities especially in Istanbul when you have to trek to the other side (of the Bosphorus) either by car and risk massive traffic, or take a minimum of three modes of public transport, are out. This latter is all very well but not when it is absolutely miserable out there.
This cake is the one I made when Son Cem was coming recently. It is a very moist cake thanks to the apple but what makes it is the delicious sweet topping made by drizzling toffee sauce mixed with a bit of cream over the finished loaf. Every bit as good as it sounds, believe me! The recipe comes from BBC Good Food Magazine http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/ – such a great magazine and website.
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake
Cuts into 8-10 slices
175g/6oz soft butter, plus extra for greasing
175g/6oz golden caster sugar (in Turkey just use normal toz şeker)
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8oz plain flour
½ tsp cinnamon
4 rounded tbsp plain yogurt
2 eating apples
50g/2oz walnuts, very roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp extra, chopped
50g/2oz soft toffees/karamel
2 tbsp double cream (in Turkey use cream from those little packets eg Pınar or Tikveşli)
· Pre-heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and ends with a long strip of baking paper.
· Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Tip in the flour, cinnamon and yogurt. Peel, core and chop apples into small chunks, then add to the bowl and mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
· Scrape into the tin, smooth the top and scatter the walnuts down the middle. Bake on a middle shelf for 1hr 20-30 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
· To decorate, put the toffees in a small saucepan with the double cream. Gently heat, stirring until toffees have melted into a smooth caramel sauce. Cool for about 1 min while you gently turn out the cake. Slowly drizzle the toffee sauce over the top of the cake. Scatter immediately with the extra walnuts – they should stick where they hit the toffee. Leave for 10 mins before serving.
· Best fresh but will keep in an airtight tin for 3 – 4 days. Also suitable for freezing before decorating.
1. This cake does take a long time to cook. Make sure you test it before removing from oven. I gave mine two extra lots of 10 mins as it was still coming out too moist.
2. It may sound like a drag to have to line the tin but there is always a reason when a recipe states this. It means that any potential disaster like the cake sticking to the tin at the end will be avoided. So I always do it. I would hate my cake to collapse after all the effort of making it!