This is a real return to comfort food classics and is always a treat to tuck into.
As the autumn tentatively creeps in, I think this comforting bake will set the tone nicely. It be varied to use other fruits you have to hand: pears are also excellent, as is a scattering of berries such as blackberries or raspberries just before spooning over the cake batter.
As the cake cooks, the juices and sugar turn into a delicious caramel so that when you turn out the cakes you get a lovely golden, sticky topping.
If serving as a dessert, it is excellent warm with some ice cream, custard or a little pouring cream. However, it is terrific just as it is with a cuppa!
I like to make them in small deep cake tins (about 4″ diameter, in which case you get two cakes). However, you can make this in one 6″ cake tin or use a medium-sized oven-proof dish. The recipe can be scaled up as much as you want.
This is also the very first dish being made shortly with my Year 9 Food students in our superb new kitchen: several years in the planning, this is genuinely a dream come true and I am looking forward to cooking with my students in this fabulous venue.
Recipe: upside-down apple & cinnamon cake – serves 2
- 1-2 medium apples
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
- 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 60g soft butter or spread
- 60g self-raising flour
- 60g caster sugar (or a mixture of sugars)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
You will also need a 6” cake tin or two smaller deep cake tins, greased and base-lined with greaseproof.
The oven should be preheated to 160C (fan)
(1) Prepare the apple mixture: cut the apples into quarters and remove the core: there is no need to peel them. Slice each quarter into 4-5 segments (you want them a little chunky rather than too thin) and place in a small bowl.
(2) Mix the sliced apple with the cinnamon and about half of the brown sugar and toss well to coat. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar into the base of the tins.
(3) Arrange the apple slices over the sugar in the tin, overlapping slightly if you wish. Go onto a second layer if needed. If there is any brown sugar left in the bowl, scatter it on top of the apples.
(4) Make the sponge: put the sponge ingredients into a small bowl and beat together just until it comes together to form a smooth batter.
(5) Spoon the cake batter onto the apples and smooth off. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is well risen and golden-brown.
(6) Remove from the oven and leave the cake in the tins for a couple of minutes before carefully inverting onto a plate and peeling off the baking paper (if it is still attached).