26 September 2013

Apple Streusel Cake

Now I do get the point of 'letting the recipes and pictures speak for themselves', but sometimes I think a little bit of narration really adds something to a recipe book. Nigella Lawson is a baking legend but I didn't fully appreciate her work when I was younger. I just found all the text unnecessary, but it's only when you read her work (and I have been know to read her recipe books from the first to the last page) that you really appreciate just how entertaining she is. She gives you snippets of advice and nuggets of her life and most importantly a context for the recipe which she is about to share.

Now I will get to the point ---> .  Before I baked this cake I had no idea what 'streusel'. I would have loved to know a bit more about this mysterious topping. So I did a little research and now am I enlighted, I can tell something about streusel...

Streusel...

streu·sel is a crumb-like topping made by using flour, sugar and butter. A trusty source (wikipedia) informs us that we should use a ratio of 2:1:1. Streusel was discovered in Germany and the word originates from the verb 'strewn'.

Hummingbird's recipe uses equal amounts of flour and sugar and just over half the amount of butter*.  The addition of cinnamon to the streusel is welcomed with open arms and makes this recipe a winner for a warm winter pud.


Streusel Topping:
70g plain flour + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
40g chilled unsalted butter
70g soft light brown sugar

Rub the flour, cinnamon and butter together with your fingers to form breadcrumbs, before mixing in sugar.

The Streusel Topping could be added as an alternative to frosting, 'runny icing' or a glaze. Think of blueberry muffins with a crispy topping... YUM.

*As always, the Hummingbird recipe is to use a lot higher ratio of sugar. I think the result is often a lighter, fluffier cake.

So the cake itself is actually just a vanilla sponge, layered with apples and then the wonderful topping. Simple as can be. I'll let the photos do the talking...


Cream the mixture to add air to the mixture.
Add the vanilla and the egg...
The mixture almost looks like it's curdling!
Never fear, as with enough mixing it's silky smooth.



Arrange the apples on top of each other. Don't worry about the gaps as they will be filled with Streusel
Honestly it doesn't matter how pretty your apples look as you're about to bury them.
The piece de resistance of Sunday lunch.
Add ice-cream, cream or custard. Nom nom nom...
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