Toffee Apple Cake.
Heat the oven to medium-hot, about gas mark 5
Have 2 x 1lb loaf tins or your choice of bakeware handy. I use the paper liners but I understand that silicon bakeware is very popular these days.
4 smallish apples, cored and sliced and cubed
A lemon, squeezed, to stop them oxidising
About 2 good tablespoons of honey
Cinnamon - some, how much you like, if you like like it. I'm having at least two good teaspoonsful.
Cook briefly together to soften them, leave to cool. The cubes of apple should now be covered in a syrup like toffee so don't burn them or they'll taste bitter. The need to cool down or they'll coagulate the cake mixture when they go in.
Cake batter of:
8oz self-raising flour
4oz unsalted butter or margarine
2 oz sugar, brown if you have it but any is fine.
A little milk if the batter is too stiff, but it probably won't be when you add the fruit.
Mix up the batter using any protocol you like, including the one where you separate the eggs, whip up the whites, then fold them in to the rest of the mixture later. This is a lot of mucking about but it does give puffier results. However, I'm doing sugar and butter, then eggs, then flour. The batter is stiff, more like a scone, but it will soften as you put the apple in. It is easier to do this by pouring the cool syrup in first.
Stir the apples in to the cake mixture which will be like rich cream - not hard but not runny - and cook in a medium-hot oven, around gas mark 5. If you are using two loaf tins this will take about 50 mins, longer if you use a deep tin, less if you are wise and spread the mixture in a wider tin. At any rate, cook until a knife-blade slides out cleanly and not covered in raw cake mix. The oven needs to be hot to get the reaction going and puff up the cake, but it can burn the top. Turn the oven down and leave it longer if it is a problem getting the centres to set. This happens with cakes using fresh fruit.
Cool on wire rack. The cake should not be over-sweet. Fresh fruit cakes count as health food if the council sends a spy round to 'test' your buns. You need to eat them quicker than other cakes because they only have a limited shelf life of a few days. This should not be a problem.
Aha! Found some spare cream. Yes, this all works.If you enjoyed the apples, save the pips from the cores and shove them in the ground somewhere. Who knows, but one day there may be tree. All the instructions are in there.
A note on honey: this cake used rapeflower honey. Be aware that rapeflower honey is bland which makes it adaptable for cooking but that - in my opinion - it lacks the depth of flavour you might like in a table honey.