October is the toughest of months – It’s the precursor to so many things that are too far but close enough (like my birthday!), so many festivities that are yet to come. It just makes me impatient. Weather wise, while the world is enjoying the onset of winter with everything pumpkin spiced, we are sweltering in the post-monsoon humidity, waiting till the weather gods decide it may finally be time for a true blue Bombay winter. I’m happy we are almost there, though. I’m already making up Christmas cookie lists, trying to avoid all the Diwali mithai and removing some cosy sweaters from the loft, waiting for the universe to do its thing.
This cake though, is helping the transitional time. I would like to believe fall tastes of rum kissed apples and spiced cake. I wanted the overall look to be rustic so I just threw the sauce on top of the cake and let everyone dive in with forks blazing. If you’d like a more symmetrical approach, just arrange the slices neatly a top the cake or cut everyone a square piece and add an apple with some sauce on top. Whatever the serving style, it’s important you make the sauce as close to the last possible minute. It’s minimal effort – just tossing some apples in butter, sugar and rum and it tastes best warm. I’ve also used a small cake recipe here but you can double it and make it in a larger pan. I love to use my sheet pan for everything so the cake seems a bit flat but is perfectly proportionate with the apples. This easily serves 4 but also doubles with ease. You can also, as I often do, swap about 1/4th cup of flour for nut flour (aka ground nuts) to give it an extra buttery flavour (not to mention moistness!). I’ve made this with hazelnuts and almonds but I’m not above using walnuts and pecans too. The fact that this is so popular is convenient to experiment with all kinds of nuts. When you make it, you’ll know.
Spiced Cake with Rum Kissed Apples
Source: The Vanilla Bean Original
For the cake:
1 1/4th cup (150 g) flour
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1 tbs white distilled vinegar
1/3rd cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 deg C. Butter and flour a cake tin (whatever you end up using) and place it on a cookie tray lined with a silicon mat.
2. In a measuring cup, add milk and vinegar and set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Whisk to combine.
4. Once the milk has curdled and thickened slightly, add to the dry ingredients along with oil and vanilla extract. Mix well and pour into cake tin. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cake tests done when a skewer is inserted comes out clean. Let it cool and invert onto cooling rack. Set aside.
Rum Kissed Apples
1 large apple, cut into neat slices (or diced, whatever you prefer)
3 tbs butter
3 tbs granulated sugar
3 – 4 tbs dark rum
1. In a skillet, add butter and let it melt over low heat. Once it begins to froth, add sugar and apples. Add rum and continue to cook on low heat till the sauce is thick, bubbly and fragrant. Pour over cooled cake and serve immediately.
This cake can weather any season. For a summery cake, see this special one.