Sunday, 19 September 2010

Baking Sunday: Nutty Apple Loaf

The weather has been typical Edinburgh weather this week - at turns miserable and grey, and then suddenly sunny and gorgeous. It's definitely dropped a few degrees and as a result I've had a wee bit of lurgy. So even though the remains of summer are still hanging on, I'm thinking about cold-weather food - crumbles, pies, roasts, gravy, anything vaguely comforting. I recently went to the Valvona and Crolla food hall at Jenners and picked up some passion fruit curd and savoiardi biscuits so went through a few of my recipe books for an interesting pavlova or tiramisu recipe, when I found something I just had to make. The tiramisu could wait, I needed to make this Apple & Nut Loaf!

There's something about cooking with apples which I associate with comfort food - maybe because they are usually stewed, or crumbles and cakes. Definitely weather-turning-in food. This humble loaf doesn't look like much - it's not flashy and doesn't even get tarted up like a lemon loaf might with some icing or syrup. It just sits on the plate, knowing it tastes damn good. It's full of warm brown sugar flavour, apples, walnuts, cinnamon and a wee bit of dark chocolate. The only downside to this is that the mix needs to be left in the fridge for a few hours, preferably overnight but the result of this is that the apple flavour really infuses into the mix and the loaf is incredibly moist and deliciously more-ish.

Nutty Apple Loaf

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g soft light brown sugar
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 eggs
140g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon shelled mixed nuts, chopped
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

1.  Put the butter, sugar and jam in a bowl and cream with an electric whisk or paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
2.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl, then beat into the butter mixture. Stir the nuts, chocolate and apples into the mixture by hand until evenly dispersed. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible.
3.  Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.
4.  Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth over with a knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until brown and the sponge feels firm to the touch. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean, but for a little melted chocolate. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning our onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


Marianthi said...

Yum yum! I'm making this tonight. Thank you! xx

Katey said...

It's one of the nicest cakes I've ever made! Let me know how you get on :-) xx

Anonymous said...

When I no longer share a kitchen with a thousand Italians, I will make this.

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