Autumn Apple & Maple Cake

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year. Crisp air, russet leaves, log fires and darkening evenings; the smoky smell of Bonfire Night when you are wrapped up tightly against the biting wind. Here in Bangkok, despite every clothes shop being full of scarves, gloves, winter coats, and some rather fetching earmuffs with nary a vest top in sight, it remains hot and steamy.  Its inhabitants dress for an imagined winter, huddling in their houses with the air con on full. So l am cooking for an imaginary Autumn, inspired by all the blogs out there that are full to the brim of pumpkins, apples, and chestnuts. Recently The Boy has been tucking merrily into imported apples, often blended with roasted squash and this week there were a couple left over. So, inspired by a recipe by Amber Rose in Love, Bake, Nourish, l made this unusual but nonetheless delicious Apple & Maple Cake. I ate this wearing a summer dress, but in my head l was kicking winter boots through piles of leaves.

Autumn Apple & Maple Cake

Cake Ingredients:

250g apples (two medium apples)

2 eggs, seperated

125ml olive oil

225g plain flour, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g maple syrup

pinch of salt

Topping Ingredients:

200g cream cheese

100g maple syrup

1 lemon

1 lime

Method:

1.) Wash and peel apples (I left the peel on for texture)

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2.) Grate apple and squeeze all the moisture out through a sieve.Apple Cake-2

3.) Beat egg yolks and oil together until creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, maple syrup and grated apple. Mix thoroughly.Apple Cake-3

4.) In a very clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt until you have stiff peaks.Apple Cake-4

5.) Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture, then pour into a cake tin and bake for 30 – 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius.Apple Cake-5

6.) Beat together the cream cheese and maple syrup, adding the zest of the lemon and a squeeze of juice.

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7.) Smooth on top of the cooled cake and decorate with some lime zest.Apple Cake-7

“In Heaven, it is always Autumn.”
John Donne

Fresh Strawberry Scones

Having bought a small pot of strawberries for The Boy to sample (his face was one of utter disgust when he put them in his mouth this morning), l fancied making a fruity treat for our Saturday breakfast. I found a lovely little recipe for Strawberry Scones in a book entitled “Bread” by Anne Sheasby. She suggests adding cinnamon, which is inspired. These were so tasty with a smattering of cream cheese and a mug of Yorkshire tea this morning. Even whilst being covered in half masticated strawberry by my beloved offspring.

Ingredients:

225g self raising flour

25g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

100g fresh strawberries, chopped

55g butter

125ml milk (plus extra for glazing)

Method:

1) Add flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix lightly.

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2.) Dice butter and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

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3.) Stir in sugar and chopped strawberries.

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4.) Add enough milk to mix a soft dough, and turn it out onto a floured surface.IMG_5400

5.) Pat out the dough until it is about 2cm thick, and cut out 12 rounds (l used a glass!).

Brush the tops of the scones with milk.

IMG_54026.) Bake at 220 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown on top.

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Yummy!