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)

Apple Cake-1

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.

Apple Cake-6

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

Happy H*OWL* oween

I love Halloween. My Facebook photos over the years stand as testament to this : a Mummy in heels, a Luche Libre in spandex , a Scooby Doo character in a red wig. You name it, l have worn it. This year, however, The Boy is too young to celebrate with me and The Husband will be enjoying some man-time in a pub. So l  have swapped lycra for an apron and baked these owl-ish cupcakes instead. Happy H*OWL*oween!

The Owl and the Witch's Pussycat

The Owl and the Witch’s Pussycat

-This is an adapted version of the Red Velvet cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery, and inspired by ideas from Pinterest. I made double the quantities for 24 cupcakes-

H*owl*oween Cupcakes

Ingredients

60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
20ml orange and green colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml milk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar

For the decoration:

20g cocoa powder
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter
40ml black food colouring
20 ml of milk
1 packs of Oreos
1 packs of M&Ms

Method

1.) Put the butter and the sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the egg and cocoa powder until well mixed.IMG_5415

.2.) Add half the milk and beat until well mixed.IMG_5419

3.) Add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the milk and flour have been added and you have a smooth, even mixture.IMG_5424

4.) Mix together bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract and vinegar (it fizzes!) and beat thoroughly into the mixture.

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5.) Divide the mixture in half and colour one half in orange and the other in green. Not particularly appetising, but very spooky. Fill a cupcake tin, mixing the two colours. Bake for 20 minutes at 170 Celsius.IMG_5442

6.) While the cakes cool, beat icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter together.IMG_5443

7.) Add milk and beat until the mixture is smooth.IMG_5450

8.) Add the  black food colouring and smooth on top of the cooled cupcakes.IMG_5461

9.) Open the pack of Oreos (trying not to eat them!)

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10.) Split the Oreos in half and spread out your M&Ms so you can see the colours (trying not to let anyone else eat them!).IMG_5469

11.) Cut the Oreos in half for the eyes and use the M&Ms for the pupils and the beak. The ears are created by breaking an Oreo into quarters.

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 I shall be eating these whilst watching a (not too) scary film by myself this evening. Spooky!