Yes, you did read that correctly, not toffee but coffee. I spotted this recipe in the second CCC book, “A Year of Cake” and wanted to give it a try because of what I thought was an unusual ingredient. I have been on a mission, on and off, to find a recipe for the perfect apple cake so have read a lot of apple cake recipes. This is the first time I have encountered one that included coffee amongst the ingredients. In the book it is called a honey apple cake but it’s the coffee that makes this cake different.
With the garden work now finished we were expecting visitors who were keen to inspect the result and with the sun shining it seemed only right to serve tea and cake outdoors to mark the occasion. That was the excuse I used to bake the cake but as so often happens I was a bit late in getting started and it was still in the oven when they arrived.
Fortunately they were not the kind of people to judge me because the cake was still on its cooling rack when I served it, instead of being presented on a pretty cake stand and dusted daintily with icing sugar.
I served it warm and it was delicious, as apple cakes usually are when warm. The problem comes when you try to serve them cold and they are often so full of fruit that they fall apart, being more like a pudding than a cake. As well as being delicious, this one also served very well when cold. The spices, apple and coffee flavours were all there and very subtle, adding up to a very pleasant, not overpowering in anything, kind of cake. Perfect for the late summer, mists and mellow fruitfulness just around the corner, season.
300g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100g light muscovado sugar
100g dark soft brown sugar
125ml vegetable oil
200g honey (either runny or set)
125ml warm strong fresh coffee
2 medium eating apples, peeled, cored and grated
30g raisins (or sultanas)
25g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan / gas mk 6. Butter and line the base of a 23cm round springform tin.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and spices into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar using an electric whisk until light and creamy. Set aside.
In a jug mix together the oil, honey and coffee. Add to the egg mixture and mix well to combine.
Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and mix well, making sure there are no lumps. Add the apple, raisins and almonds and stir well to combine.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until done. Check for browning after 20 minutes and cover loosely with foil if necessary.
Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Cuts into 10-12 slices.