Friday, 15 August 2014

The Chiappas' Cinnamon Sponge Cake with Apples

'Simply Italian' by the Chiappa Sisters is a very recent addition to my cookbook collection and I am delighted with it. I love the combination of cinnamon and apple and when I read through this recipe I straight away knew it was a sweet treat I really wanted to try out. I had one of my sisters calling over for dinner and baking fever is high these days anyway with The Great British Bake Off on our screens every Wednesday evening. Plus, I recently discovered that apparently it's afternoon tea week until 17th August and just how authentic an afternoon tea treat is a slice of sponge cake with a cup of hot tea?!

So there, I had three excuses to bake. I have slightly adapted the recipe from the original. You will get about eight generous portions from the cake. Here goes...

The Chiappas' Cinnamon Sponge Cake with Apples

  • 100 g unsalted butter, plus a little extra
  • 200 g plain flour, plus a little extra
  • 800 g/6 medium sized sweet apples (I used Pink Ladies), peeled, cored and chopped into 1 cm sized slices
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Half tsp. grated nutmeg (or mixed spice if unavailable)
  • Half tsp. salt
  • 200 ml milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/350 F/gas mark 4. Grease a round springform tin with butter and dust it with some flour.
  2. Place your apple slices in a bowl and top with the lemon juice.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat or in a microwave if you prefer (just be careful to check it frequently).
  4. Separately, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the colour turns a pale yellow shade and the mixture is fluffy.
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the apples, and mix everything together very well.
  6. Finally tip in your apple slices. I found this was best done in two goes because you need to ensure they are distributed evenly throughout the cake mixture.
  7. Pour your mix into the prepared tin and place it in the oven to bake for 55 - 65 minutes. It will be a deep golden colour when ready but your best bet is to stick a skewer in and when it comes out clean the cake is cooked through.
  8. Allow the cake to cool a little and you're ready to cut and serve up.
I suggest serving this warm with some freshly whipped cream with a little icing sugar added, or with some vanilla or honeycomb ice-cream. OR, if you're really pushing the boat out, serve the sponge with some homemade caramel sauce drizzled on top and with ice-cream on the side.

Cinnamon Apple Sponge cake ready to be served (left), and (right) a slice served with a dollop of fresh cream

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