The month of September has begun, and with it comes a palette of seasonal colours going from light yellows to deep reds – The leaves have already started falling as they dry up and curl, and the mornings are chillier than before. Autumn has definitely arrived and with it comes a wonderful collection of new recipes to try out, and what better way to celebrate the changing of the season than to indulge oneself wholeheartedly!
Autumn has come and with it, a magnificent array of colours and textures that the season has to offer and if you sit quietly for a few moments and observe mother nature, you will find that she is busy at work, already preparing for the long months of winter ahead: Squirrels are foraging for nuts and hoarding them away, birds are greedily pecking at the rich berries growing on the trees and bushes, and mushrooms of all sorts have started growing in the brushwood.
‘Tis the perfect time of year to start making jams, jellies and preserves with fallen fruit from the trees, baking pies with rich crusts, and to start using the winter spices that were pushed at the back of the cupboard during the summer – I shall start the autumn season with a deliciously moist apple and cinnamon cake, topped with a brown sugar crust, because there is nothing more delightful than coming home after a long day and smelling the rich smells of caramelized apples!
Here is my recipe for apple and cinnamon cake, best eaten warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a cup of light Chinese green tea – Enjoy the fruity sensation as the warm apple and cinnamon flavours reach your taste buds, and dream of fall harvests and wagons piled high with hay!
- 210g of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 large red apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 120ml vegetable oil
- 100g greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 30g unsalted butter
- A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 185°C (365°F). Line or grease a 5cm deep round cake dish and reserve for later.
In a large mixing bowl poor the flour, baking powder, vanilla and caster sugar and mix with a wooden spoon. Peel and cut the apples into small chunks and toss them into a cooking pan. Add the butter, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and the cinnamon and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes until lightly caramelized. Be careful not to burn the apples. When they are done, gently fold the apples into the flour mixture.
Meanwhile, in a second bowl, crack the eggs, and beat lightly before adding the oil and yogurt. Add the “dry” mixture to the egg mixture folding in all the ingredients then whisk the batter until homogenous – Sprinkle some brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon over the cake mixture and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes depending on the depth of your pan. Stick a knife in the center of the cake to check if it’s completely cooked, if not cover the cake with some tin foil and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the tip of the knife comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool for about 15-20 minutes before taking it out of the baking pan and let it cool for a further 10-15minutes before serving it.
Enjoy this cake for a delicious September afternoon tea or during a morning brunch, served with freshly whipped cream and a cup of Rooibos green tea flavoured with rose petals and verbena.
I hope you’ve enjoyed baking this cake as much as I did (I ate half the cake in one sitting!) and I hope to see you here again next week for another exciting autumn recipe…