It’s September and i’m back in the swing of all things blog! It has felt good to have taken a step back from my online existence and get out there and throw myself into the summer.
One of the highlights was when my lush friend and magic photographer Sharron got hitched in her back garden to the very lovely Dominic. Blissful….
You’ll have seen her food photography work on my blog loads, but her main focus is weddings, so it was fun to watch her being snapped! Doesn’t she look absolutely amazing?!
Such is this couple’s love of cake, they decided to have a wedding bake-off, throwing down the challenge to their guests to bring their best baked treats to the wedding feast.
The inspiration for my entries came from the drinks on the menu, Mojitos and Cider Punch. What could be better than cocktails in cake form?
I made both in miniature – taking away the need to slice, so guests could just get stuck straight in.
I’d made the Mojito Cupcakes a year or two ago for a Good Food Channel photoshoot with Sharron, and they’d kind of stuck firmly in my memory. A little hit of rum and a zing of lime – too delicious. You can get the recipe here but I added some lime zest into the frosting to give them a bit more impact.
I also added some crystallised mint leaves to decorate for extra texture and flavour. Crystallising mint leaves was easy. I just painted the leaves with egg white, dusted with caster sugar and then left to set on a piece of kitchen paper for a few hours. They start to blacken at the edges after a couple of days though, so don’t make them too far in advance.
The idea for the Cider Drizzle Spiced Apple Cakes came to me as I walked the dogs around the park in a jet-lagged haze when we got back from our adventures in California. I often find the best recipes just work their way into my head.
To convert my thoughts into baked goods, I adapted a spiced apple cake i’d made for Parentdish, and then found this amazing recipe for a cider drizzle topping from this cool American blog that looked kinda caramel-like and lush… so I borrowed it… and adapted it into English measurements and added a lot more icing sugar!
Cider Drizzle Spiced Apple Cakes
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
For the cake:
180g butter, softened
140g soft dark brown sugar
250g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
150g dessert apple, peeled and finely chopped
For the cider drizzle
200ml organic apple cider
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1. For the cakes: pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Pop 12 mini loaf cases onto a baking sheet.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time until combined.
3. Mix in the flour, spices and milk until a smooth batter forms, and then fold in the finely chopped apple.
4. Spoon the batter into the mini loaf cases, and then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and a toothpick poked into the sponge comes out clean. Allow to cool then make the cider drizzle
5. For the cider drizzle: pour the cider into a small pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, turn it down and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth and keep stirring until it’s like a runny caramel.
6. Drizzle over the loaf cakes and scatter with toasted hazelnuts.
They were moist, fruity and very autumnal. Perfect with a cuppa, but equally at home as a hangover-relieving breakfast the day after Sharron’s wedding! Take away the nuts and they’d package up nicely for a sweet treat in a child’s lunchbox.
I’m hooking this recipe up with Ren’s Simple and in Season, hosted this month by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. Check out her post that lets you know what seasonal goodies we’ll be tucking into this month.
I’m also adding my little cakes up to Bake of The Week hosted by Casa Costello.