The only reason I haven't been posting is not because I have put away by butter, flour, eggs and sugar, but merely because I have just been busy doing various things in various places and employing a various state of mind in this world that is full of...well...variety.
But, all is not lost! I have decided to make-up for my absence with an incredible recipe. Yes, it really is just purely incredible.
My thighs are enlarging merely contemplating the ingredients but you know what, for the sake of this cake,
I JUST DON'T CARE.
and neither should you...ever.
The provider of this incredible recipe was in fact "the baking obsession" blog, an incredible blog by a truly talented baker. That's for darn tootin' certain!
It's a cake for all those people whose mum used to make them an afternoon snack of apples and cheese together when they came home from school. The combination of the sweetness and acidity of fruit with the nuttiness and savoury of the cheddar in this recipe makes this cake simply melt in your mouth yum. yum get in my tum!
Enough rambling. On with the show!
APPLE AND CHEDDAR CAKE WITH STREUSEL TOPPING
For the streusel topping:
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 4 tbsp (1/2 stick; 55g) unsalted butter, cold
• 1 oz extra-sharp cheddar, finely grated
For the filling:
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
• 20 oz (about 4 medium) cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced thinly crosswise
• Zest of ½ lemon
• 2 oz extra-sharp cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped
For the cake batter:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¾ tsp salt
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 large eggs
• Zest of ½ lemon
• ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
Make the streusel topping:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, and salt. Add the cubes of cold butter and work them into the flour using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the cheese. Cover and refrigerate until needed, up to a couple of days.
Make the filling:
Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over the medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar. Cook until a grainy sauce forms, about 1 minute. Mix in the apples. Cook until the apples are tender, translucent and the sauce is reduced to glaze, about 7-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the lemon zest and remove from the heat. Stir in the raisins. Cool completely, and then stir in the cheddar.
Make the cake batter, bake the cake:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter an 8-inch 3-inch deep springform pan (you can use a 9-inch pan as well (there’re enough batter and filling), but reduce the baking time). Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of the stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar beating on medium-high speed until well combined, pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour, until just combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Transfer about a half of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple filling on top of the batter leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Top with the remaining batter (place the batter in dollops over the filling, starting near the edge to prevent the filling from the contact with the pan sides), then gently smooth the top. Crumble the refrigerated topping over the top of the cake. Place the pan onto a baking sheet and slide into the oven.
Bake the cake until nicely brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1hr-1hr 15 min (about 45 minutes if baking in 9-inch pan). If the top browns too quickly, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil (it is usually required after 40 minutes or so of baking). Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Cool until slightly warm on a cooling rack before serving. The cake is also good at room temperature.