There is something about cooked apples that instantly spells comfort food for me. I especially like how tart apples like granny smith hold their own in whatever recipe they’re used. Earlier, when they were unheard of here, my grand mum would lug them for me from London along with Kiwis (I remember hiding them at the back of the fridge, just in case she wanted to give a guest a taste of exotica). Back then I didn’t bake or cook, and cooking apples was an alien thought. But if I knew how beautifully the apples transformed with a little sugar, butter and heat into luscious caramel apples, I’d make them everyday.
You can use the caramel apples with anything you fancy. My two favourites being vanilla ice cream, and of course, this cinnamon cake.
Yield: 8 servings
Adapted from: Jill O’Connor’s Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey
4 granny smith apples
1/3rd cup granulated sugar
1/3rd cup brown sugar
A pinch of salt
3 tbsp butter, plus a tiny knob to finish.
½ tsp vanilla extract
- Peel and core the apples. Then quarter them and cut them into slices (not too thick). Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a 12 inch sauté pan over a medium heat.
- Add the sugars and stir until it is dissolved and the mixture is golden brown and bubbling.
- Stir in the vanilla and the salt.
- Add the apples and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently until the apples have cooked through; about 15 – 20 minutes.
- After you’ve turned off the heat, thrown in the remaining knob of butter to coat the apples evenly. Serve warm with the cake that follows.
Yield: 8 servings
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 stick / 112g butter
½ cup yoghurt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter an 8 inch square or circular pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the butter with a hand mixer until light and airy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition.
- Reduce the speed now and add the flour in 3 parts and yoghurt in 2 parts alternately; starting and ending with flour.
- You will have a very thick batter.
- Transfer the batter in the buttered pan and even out the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crumbs are golden and a skewer comes out clean.
- When the cake is just out of the oven, brush it with butter and roll it in cinnamon sugar. Or if you’d like, sprinkle it on top of the cake.