|Slightly smaller after 'testing' but packed with fruit and nut.|
Pre bake day:
4oz (110g) Dried dates - chopped and soaked the day or two before in a small glass of brandy or apple juice
4oz (110g) Butter
4oz (110g) Demerara sugar
1 tbsp Maple syrup (or runny honey)
8oz (225g) Self raising flour
1tsp Mixed spice
½ tsp Nutmeg or mace
4oz (110g) Walnut pieces (Also works well with pecans.)
4oz (110g) Cooking apples (2 Bramleys)
Lemon juice to sprinkle over the cut apples
½ tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey
1 tbsp Demerara Sugar
Preheat oven 140c/120c Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking paper if your tins tend to stick. For this recipe I made three testing muffins and put the rest in a loaf tin.
Cut apples into small ‘cube’ chunks about 1 cm and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop discoloration. Cover and put to one side.
Cream the sugar and butter together, add the maple syrup and whisk in. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold in half the flour and spices, and then coat the chopped apple and walnuts and dates in the remaining flour and combine with the cake batter. The mixture is quite chunky so you will need to spoon it into the tin and/or muffin cases.
Check after 15 minutes. Take muffins out if done and keep cake in for an extra 20-25 minutes subject to your oven temperature and if you have split the mixture; you will have a smaller loaf and a shorter cooking time. Remember; cook until risen and a skewer comes cleanly out.
Remove cake from oven and while it is still in the tin, brush the top with some syrup or honey and sprinkle over with Demerara sugar. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, make sure sides of the cake are coming away from the tin and remove. Cool or eat straight away!
Now here’s the problem; it tastes really good straight out of the oven, it also tastes really good if you wrap it and eat it the next day. Decisions, decisions….One last tip, cut with a good sharp knife, just in case you have to cut through a walnut piece on the way. It’s always easier to cut on the next day if it lasts. I don’t recommend freezing this and generally, there’s no point….