Well hello there. You’re looking lovely today. I know it’s been a while… But I have to say I’ve made my peace with falling firmly under the ‘occasional blogger’ category. And for me — a resolutely all-or-nothing, perfectionist kind of human — that’s actually something rather special. But I will admit I’ve missed it (and shout out to the lovely Rhonda who says she misses me too!) so here I am with a recipe I hope you’ll love and an overlong introduction you might appreciate less.
I’ll cut to the chase (finally) and say this cake is delicious. The sponge is simple and not overly sweet, but combined with soft apple and a slightly salted honey glaze it reaches new heights. Enjoy!
For the sunken apples
4 smallish apples, peeled, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup runny honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
2 decent pinches of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
160g plain flour
1/4 cup honey
A generous pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350F/175c/155c fan.
- Coat a 9-inch springform tin with butter or a nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- Prepare your apples: place each quarter core side down on a chopping board, and use a knife to create parallel thin slices only cutting halfway through the apple so it holds together. If you accidentally cut all the way through (I did!) then just reassemble once you come to put on top of the cake in a minute.
- In a bowl, gently toss your apples with lemon juice and 2 tablespoon granulated sugar.
- Prepare cake mixture by beating the butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric whisk until fluffy.
- Add the honey and beat until combined.
- Add your vanilla and egg yolks, beating until just combined.
- Sprinkle salt and baking powder over the top, and mix for just 5 seconds until they disappear.
- Add flour, half at a time, mixing only until just combined each time
- In a separate bowl with hastily cleaned and thoroughly dried beaters (unless you own two sets, you domestic goddess you), beat egg whites until stiff.
- Stir 1/4 of them into the cake mix to lighten it a little. Fold in the rest in three additions. It will seem initially like it’ll never combine — persevere with gentle, patient folding. Only fold the last addition of egg whites until it has mostly disappeared — a couple of faint streaks is fine.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smoothing the top.
- Arrange apple quarters face down over the cake mixture. You don’t need to smush them in, just nestled on the top is fine. Pour any extra lemon juice and sugar in the bowl over the apples.
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let rest on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan at all, and unhinge the sides. Let cake cool completely.
- Before serving, if you’d like the glaze to look glossy, or whenever the cake is cool, if you don’t mind if the honey sinks into the cake, make the honey glaze. Warm 1/4 cup honey and a good pinch of sea salt until it thins to a glaze consistency — this will take less than 30 seconds. Brush honey-salt mixture over cooled cake and enjoy.
Original recipe from yep, you guessed it, Smitten Kitchen. All photographs and the ramblings at the top are © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2016.