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Thanksgiving cakes – Apple Yogurt Cake and Flavoured Coffees

by on November 24, 2009
 

I love apple cake. Do you?

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…whether it’s making it with my 4-year old daughter’s class….or at home! This autumn, this is my most baked recipe – on average, we make 1 a week (which is why you’re seeing photos of many vintages).

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What I love about this recipe is

  1. The fact that it bakes like a cake but slices like a slice – know what I mean?
  2. Combines the cake and apples in perfect proportion;
  3. Is as easy to make as 1-2-3; even by 4 year olds…who love apple cake!
  4. Will be gone in no time….;
  5. Elicits compliments from colleagues 🙂 like no-man’s business;

So when I took in one cake on Friday, I had no idea what the reception would be like. In the past, I’ve attempted to wow my colleagues and office mates with salted chocolate caramel shortbread and scones, both of which received the thumbs up. Now the thing is, I’m so quick to offer delights that I suprise myself sometimes.

Anyhow, Friday morning was apple cake morning. It had me out of bed….early but in no time I was done and off the cake went with me. I tell you, the compliments that followed, had me gushing with pride. Everything from ‘the best apple cake I’ve ever had’ to ‘moreish’ and ‘my favourite of all the things you’ve brought in’! And then it occured to me that I had now found the perfect fix to any feelings of sadness- bake, bake, bake BUT take to the right people….for surely their words are sufficient to cause a swelling of hearts and heads…till joy, peace and confidence is restored.

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And the fact that sixteen 4-year olds put their stamp of approval on it….for Thanksgiving means more to me than say….hmmmm,….I’m thinking!

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If you’re looking for a quick fix – here’s the recipe…and it is perfect for breakfast with some custard or yogurt, and even with coffee!

This is a yoghurt cake base, topped with plain or cinnamon-sugared apple slices,

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topped with sugar crystals…a la choquette (from Paris) – optional though.

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..so don’t feel as though the cake suffers without it….NOT AT ALL

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and/or pecans and baked for 18-20 minutes…..

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Ingredients

Butter, to grease the tart tin
3 tablespoons almond meal (optional)
115 g plain white flour (about 1 rounded cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
90g granulated sugar
60ml oil  (corn, sunflower, rice bran but not olive oil – except you want a savoury cake)
75ml plain or vanilla yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
2 cooking apples (like Jonagold), peeled, cored and sliced thinly
2-3 tablespoons pecans (or other nuts like walnuts, almonds), chopped
Optional – cinnamon sugar (mix 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar together) or choquette sugar or any other topping of your choice

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade ( about 350 degrees Fahrenheit)

Butter a shallow tart tin (26 cm or slightly larger) and flour with the almond meal by sprinkling over the base and sides

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Making the cake

Basically, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl and then stir together.

– Dry ingredients: In a bowl, mix the white flour, baking powder and the pinch of salt. Sieve the mixture twice to incorporate air.

Add the sugar into the flour mixture and whisk together.

– Wet ingredients: Put the oil, yogurt and vanilla extract into a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk together.

Then make a well in the centre of the bowl with the flour mixture. Put the yoghurt mixture in the centre and using a spatula, mix well, from the outside in. Ensure that you scoop the bottom up as well so you don’t end up with lumps of unmixed flour.

Pour batter into butter and almonded tart tin

Sprinkle some almond flour on the top of the cake batter.

If you like, toss your apple slices in the cinnamon sugar.

Whatever you decide, lay the apple slices in a pattern.

If using a rectangular tin, arrange them in rows. If using a round tin, arrange them in circle keeping the slices as close to the outer edge as possible, then when you’re done…fill the core with more apple slices

Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top. If using choquette sugar, sprinkle over the top as well

Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, insert a tester into the centre of the cake to check for doneness. If it is not, leave for another 2-3 minutes and then bring out.

Let it cool down, only a little bit.

Cut into slices or wedges to serve….warm or cold, on any day of the week, month of the year. Perfect with a cup of scented coffee (or tea…or just plain water)!

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Flavoured coffee

To jazz up (instant) coffee, here are 3 quick flavour tips: vanilla coffe, cinnamon coffee and cardamom coffee (aka Coffee Arabica-style). All you need – vanilla sugar in some coffee, or cinnamon sugar (essentially cinnamon powder and sugar mixed together).

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My absolute favourite is having coffee with cardamom.

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If I’m too lazy, I’ll split a couple of coffee beans and pop them in my mug full of coffee, sugar, milk and all. And then play cardamom football when I’m drinking it 🙂

Its just as easy, say..with an extra minute or so of work to crush the pods, discard the husks and grind the seeds. This then goes in the coffee and can be strained out or left in.

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Top up with milk, garnish with split/used vanilla pods and cinnamon sticks as stirrers and let your hair down.

Perfect on any day of the week! Well, I think so

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