I seem to be on a bit of an Australian chef bent at the moment, but hey their food is great and large parts of the climate are similar to that of South Africa, so I feel that the food will suit. There is a story behind this cake.
My friend Beverly recently went away to Knysna and found this beautiful silicone fluted tin and wanted me to try it out for her. She chose this recipe. Now I’ve mentioned Beverly’s magazine obsession before, but this time she came across Bill Grangers cookbook in a store in Knysna. She didn’t want to buy it so she hastily scribbled out the recipes she wanted while hiding behind shelves and dodging the sales staff. As a result I was deciphering scrawled instructions from her notebook. I have a wonderful mental image of her trying to avoid stern librarian like shop keepers ready to rap her on the knuckles!
Anyway so I made the cake, which is really easy once the chopping is done. Its pretty much beat and bake. The end cake smelt delicious. I also made butterscotch sauce for the first time which I really enjoyed.
The cake was very spicy, and gooey. Personally there is way too much allspice in it for me. It just dominates! I will give the original recipe below so that you can judge yourself, but personally I would use max ½ a teaspoon allspice and make up the rest with nutmeg and cinnamon. The butterscotch while amazing was really overkill on this cake. It was just not needed – it’s rich enough! But that sauce over ice cream? You needn’t ask me twice!
I hope some of you will give this a go.
Serves 10 – 12
12/3 cups of plain flour (250g)
2 t Baking Powder
1 t ground allspice (I’d use half this amount)
1 t cinnamon
1 t freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of cloves (ground)
½ t salt
1 firmly packed cup (200g) of brown sugar
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
3 free range eggs
1 t vanilla extract
3 small green apples such as Granny Smith (130g each) peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
125g walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (I used a mixture)
2 t freshly grated ginger
1 cup of pitted dates chopped
Icing sugar for dusting
For the Butterscotch sauce
185g brown sugar
200ml of thin cream
150g of unsalted butter, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Grease and flour a 25cm bundt tin and dust with a little extra flour – shake out the excess.
1) Sift together the flour baking powder, dry spices with the salt in a large bowl. Add the sugars, butter eggs and vanilla.
2) Beat for 5 min till light fluffy and pale in colour.
3) Stir through the chopped apple, dates, and nuts as well as the freshly grated ginger.
4) Spoon into prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
5) Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour or till a skewer comes out clean. Note: The top may brown too quickly, If this happens, lightly cover the top with tinfoil.
6) Remove from oven when cooked and cool for 10 minutes in the tin before carefully removing and cooling on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.
For the butterscotch sauce
Place all ingredients in a saucepan over a medium low heat. Stir for 2 minutes till the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 6 -8 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickens.