Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Cider Crumble Cake

 A strange cake, this! On first appearances, a very plain, almost dry, base topped with a layer of plum jam, then a crumble topping flavoured with cinnamon and walnuts. In fact, all the layers combined together to make eating the cake a very interesting experience. The jam was sweet and sticky, the topping crunchy and spicy and the cake was studded with pieces of chopped date. The use of cider in the cake batter gave the cake a subtle apple-y flavour too.

I choose this cake from 'Cakes and Cake Decorating' by Zoe Leigh, a 1974 publication that used to be one of my 'go-to' books for cake recipes. Despite owning the book for almost 40 years, this is one recipe I hadn't tried before. I was attracted to it now because the cake part was fatless and quite low in sugar - in keeping with my efforts to eat more healthily. As you can see, the recipe is so old it still uses Imperial weights and measures, and oven temperatures in Fahrenheit! According to the blog The Vintage Cake Spot, this was originally one of Marguerite Patten's recipes; this might explain the austerity of the recipe, which uses small quantities of strongly flavoured ingredients in the topping to give most of the flavour and texture.

This was a very quick and easy cake to make - the dry ingredients were mixed together, then the wet ingredients were mixed in. The only complicated bit was measuring 3 tablespoons of black treacle and dissolving it in the cider. The cake was baked to just past the half-way point before the jam layer and the crumble topping were added. This gave the batter time to set so that the jam could be spread easily, although I did warm it in the microwave to make this even easier. The crumble then stuck to the jam when it was sprinkled on. Because the cake batter was set, the jam didn't soak in completely and stayed as a sticky layer between the cake and the crumble, adding to the contrasting textures.

1 comment:

belleau kitchen said...

no, I think this looks like my kind of cake... gorgeous stuff, nice and crumbly topping with a hidden layer of jam... gorgeous!