The cake was unsalvageable - it had hit the four corners of the lobby and was inedible. With a very heavy heart, I scraped the remains back onto the plate, into the cake carrier and into the boot of the car. I was heartbroken. Not as much as my colleagues, who told me that they would have eaten the cake off the floor- and they were serious. Dirty beasts. So that's how my gorgeous cake came to be known as the Hit The Floor cake.
Not to be defeated, I've actually made it three times since - a supersized version for my friend Fiona's end of summer BBQ, mini versions for our charity bakesale in work, and a trio of different flavours today : Apricot, Apple & Almond (no cinnamon) and Apple & Salted Caramel (no cinnamon).
60g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
75g Soft Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon (optional)
35g Butter, very soft
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 large Cooking Apples
25g Flaked Almonds
Preheat your oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line an 8-inch round baking tin with baking paper (a loose bottomed tin is best). Alternatively use a paper case which saves all the palaver!
Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl, or the bowl of your food mixer. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix in the butter until it has turned into fine crumbs. Add the vanilla, eggs and milk and mix until the dry ingredients have mixed into the wet. Don't over mix or the cake will be tough.
Now peel, core and thinly slice the cooking apples. Place them in the base of the tin in 2-3 layers and let them overlap slightly.
Pour the cake batter over the apples, giving the tin a good tap to make sure the batter goes all the way to the bottom. Scatter the almonds over the top and bake for 35-40 minutes. The cake will be golden brown and the almonds will have toasted. Check the cake is fully baked by inserting a skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before releasing from the tin. Transfer the cake to a wire baking rack to allow it to cool fully.
If you fancy making a very glamorous topping for the cake, then here's an alternative. I'll warn you now, this stuff is addictive and chances are that you'll eat most of it straight from the pan or the top of the just-baked cake! Don't put the almonds onto the top of the cake batter, save them for this instead.
Amaretti Praline Crunch
45g Caster Sugar
25g Flaked Almonds, toasted
25g Amaretti biscuits, crushed
Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan for 4-5 minutes until golden and set aside. Melt the butter and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Add the almonds and amaretti biscuits, mix well and pour onto the cooked cake. Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the topping has set.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before releasing from the tin. Transfer the cake to a wire baking rack to allow it to cool fully before cutting and eating.