Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hit The Floor Cake

This is a story of great triumph over adversity.  In work, we get a delivery of fruit every week to keep us all healthy and at the end of the week, there's usually a few apples or nectarines lying in the box.  I hate waste, so I brought home some nectarines and plums to turn them into a cake for work.  I made a stupendous cake and there were some very excited colleagues looking forward to Monday morning so they could have cake for breakfast (yes, I'm looking at you Cora & Karen...).  I was walking up the stairs from the carpark to the office laden with a handbag, laptop bag and a cake carrier.  Yes, you guessed it, the cake carrier went tumbling to the ground after being hit with a door.  The cake hit the floor with a tremendous bang and scattered all over the stairwell,  CAKETASTROPHE!

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).

Hit The Floor Cake

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 Eggs
50ml Milk
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.

You can serve this warm with a giant dollop of cream (lace it with Calvados for a decadent adult treat), custard or icecream.

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

30g Butter
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment