First off, let me dispel any bewilderment experienced on behalf of my North American readers when I use the words ‘black treacle’. The equivalent in your part of the world is molasses. The last recipe I posted that contained this dark treat caused such confusion that I had to attach a note to the bottom of the post detailing an equivalent.
Secondly, it is necessary to convey just how good the icing employed in this recipe is. I believe the most succinct way to approach such a conveyance would be to employ a term made famous by Tina Turner during the last year of the 1980s. This icing is ‘simply the best’ and should be sampled by each and every one of you before you breathe your last. It is truly devastating that the recipe for this wonder cake came from the BBC GoodFood website and not from the extraordinary depths of my grey matter. For if I had been the one to devise such a delight then wouldn’t that, in turn, make me ‘better than all the rest’?
When attempting this cake make sure that the sugar is lump free when being added to the mixture. This will ensure a smooth and consistent batter; there is nothing worse than finding a lump of boiled sugar half way through a delicious bite of moist apple cake. Additionally, try to be as light handed as possible when handling the cake mixture, since the amount of air remaining in the batter when it enters the oven dictates how successfully the cake will rise. One way to ensure that there is plenty of air in the flour is to gently sprinkle it into the bowl from a height of around a foot. Remember never to compress the flour when mixing the dry ingredients together; instead, use a lifting motion.
Apple and Walnut Cake with Black Treacle Icing
Makes 1 two-layer sandwich cake, with a little left over for cupcakes
For the Cake:
• 300g plain flour
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 140g dark brown soft sugar
• 50g golden caster sugar
• 250ml sunflower oil
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 3 unpeeled apples, grated (include core)
• 100g walnuts, finely chopped
For the Icing:
• 100g butter, softened
• 50g dark soft brown sugar
• 1 tbsp black treacle
• 200g tub full fat soft cheese
1. Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Line two 20cm cake tins. Mix together the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Stir in the sugars being careful to remove any lumps. Gently beat in the oil, eggs and grated apple, before folding in two thirds of the walnuts – the rest will be used in decoration. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins, there should be some left over for some cupcakes. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack.
2. To make the icing simply beat all of the requisite ingredients together until smooth and consistent. Place it in the fridge to cool until thick; this should take around 10 minutes. Spread half the mixture on top of each sandwich and place one on top of the other. Sprinkle over the remaining walnuts for decoration.
Cost: This cake does come in at a little more than what is usual for this blog. Though, £4 for a cake this filling and rich, in addition to six or seven cupcakes isn’t bad at all. Indeed, as long as you aren’t too large and greedy this cake should yield as many as ten or eleven slices.