- an Au-tummy cake for my second Clandestine Cake Club meeting.
My local branch of the Clandestine Cake Club has a new organiser, so I didn't want to miss the first event that she arranged, with the theme of 'Au-tummy cakes' (Autumn/tummy filling - geddit?). Unfortunately the date of the meeting was the day after I would be arriving home from our Spanish holiday, after 14 hours of travelling up through France, then through the Channel Tunnel, on trains and coaches. I knew I would probably be tired, and wouldn't have time for shopping before cooking, so I chose a foolproof recipe from my list of favorites, which can be made with just storecupboard ingredients plus fresh apples, and made sure I left apples in the fridge before going away.
This cake is a slight adaptation of this Nigel Slater recipe, (also published in 'Tender - Volume II') substituting 75g dried orange-flavoured cranberries, and 25g diced candied citrus peel for the sultanas or raisins suggested in the recipe. I happened to arrive home with a mandarin orange left over from our travelling rations, so a little fresh zest gave the cake a nice boost, but I was prepared to just leave out the zest, as the cranberries were orange-flavoured (left over from last Christmas's festive goodies from Aldi), and the marmalade had a high fruit content too.
I really like this cake, because it is moist and unexpectedly light, considering it's made with wholemeal flour. Many apple cakes are too dense and stodgy, because of the moisture from the fruit, but this cake is perfect! It can also be varied by changing the dried fruits used, and also swapping the marmalade for different flavoured jams or jellies (I have used smooth cranberry sauce quite successfully). Pears also work well instead of apples, as in this pear and ginger preserve variation.
With a theme of Autumn, there were several other apple-based cakes brought along to the Cake Club meeting, along with cakes containing plums, pears and blackberries. My cake was a little crumbly when cut - in an ideal world it would have been made the day before, so that it had time to rest properly - but so were some of the others, so I didn't feel too bad about it! I'm really happy to be moving into Autumn - possibly my favorite season for baking.