Saturday, 26 March 2016

Apple Cake with Lemon and Chocolate Flecks

After being so impressed with a Honey & Co cake recipe I tried recently, I managed to borrow a copy of their baking book (called Honey & Co. The Baking Book) from the local library. The recipes looked every bit as appetising as I'd expected, and there are quite a lot that I'd like to try, so this book is definitely going onto my wish list.

This cake was first recipe I tried from the book, mainly because I had all the ingredients to hand. It was another amalgamation of flavours that you wouldn't necessarily think to put together  - I've never been convinced that lemon and dark chocolate works well together, let alone with apples in the mix. As before, the clever addition of unusual spices really made the cake something special, although I thought it might have had an even better flavour without the chocolate - and it's not often that I think chocolate is an ingredient too far! Technically, the cake wasn't a complete success either - it was a very liquid batter, which meant the apple pieces sank, and it was just a little too moist. It might have been more successful baked as a more shallow cake and served warm as a dessert!

2 tablespoons whiskey
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 apples (200g once diced, skin on) - Pink Lady recommended, but I used Jazz, and only needed 1 1/2 apples.
40g plain (70% cocoa solids) chocolate
2 large eggs
160g caster sugar
120g/130ml vegetable oil - I used sunflower
150g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg - about 1/3 of a whole nutmeg
1 teaspoon fennel seeds - ground in a pestle and mortar
a pinch of table salt

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a 2lb/900ml loaf tin.
Mix the whiskey with the lemon juice and zest. Cut the apples into 1cm cubes, leaving the skin on, and toss them in the whiskey mixture to stop them discolouring.
Chop the chocolate into slivers - I shaved pieces off the block with a heavy knife to get flecks of chocolate - and put in the fridge to chill.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, then slowly whisk in the oil to make an emulsion.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, spices and salt with a spoon, then stir in the apple mixture (with the liquid) and finally the chocolate flecks.
Transfer the batter to the loaf tin and bake for about 55 minutes, turning after 35 minutes to give an even bake.
Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing.


Alicia Foodycat said...

Nutmeg & fennel do sound like they'd work better without the chocolate!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I really like the sound of all those flavours together, but I must admit that it does seem to break a few rules. Actually, it does sound even better as a warm dessert.

Benny_v said...

Had no issues with my consistency. Whisked by hand and added enough lemon juice to batter at the end to make it more liquid. I added small chocolate chunks rather than flecks and tasted sort of liquorice with the fennel. Definitely great after standing for a few hours. Did you have enough apple by any chance?

Suelle said...

I don't remember thinking that the cake needed more apple, Benny_v.