Although the Spanish are not really known for their desserts, they do love a sweet pastry or cake with a coffee, or even with a glass of cider or sweet sherry in the afternoon. You will see the windows of pastelerías (cake shops) laden with beautiful little cakes ready to be enjoyed, often using a mixture of fruit and sponge with some sort of jelly or glaze on top.
This delicious, moist cake is a variation of one of my favourites growing up: a scrumptious apple cake my mum used to make with fruit from our orchard mixed with cinnamon and topped with brown sugar. This Spanish version from Asturias is similar in many ways, with the addition of cider, which I am sure my mum would have approved of!
Ingredientes (Serves 8)
- 3 large dessert apples (fairly tart ones such as Braeburn or Cox)
- 3 tbsp good quality medium, dry cider
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6oz / 175g butter
- 6oz/ 175g caster sugar (golden ideally)
- 5oz/ 150g self raising flour
- 3 eggs
- 50g ground almonds
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp cider
- 150ml cider
- 150g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170°, and grease and line a 23 cm cake tin, ideally a loose bottomed one.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples, place in a bowl and add the cider, cinnamon, caster sugar and vanilla, toss the apples to coat them and leave to one side.
- To make the sponge I always do an all in one method, measuring all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and combining using either a mixer or a hand held whisk, starting slowly and gradually increasing the speed over about a minute.
- Once combined, drain off about 2 tablespoons of the liquor from the apples and stir into the sponge mix.
- Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin and then evenly scatter half of the apples over, topping with the remaining cake mixture. Finally lay the rest of the apples on the top (you can do this in a pattern if you like), and sprinkle with an extra teaspoon of golden caster sugar.
- Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden and cooked through (check by inserting a skewer, it should come out clean).
- Leave the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the tin to cool completely.
- In a small pan make the glaze by rapidly boiling the cider until it has reduced to just a couple of tablespoons, then tip into a small mixing bowl to cool. Once it has cooled add the icing sugar and beat until you have a smooth consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cake (I do this using a disposable piping bag, filling it with the icing then snipping off the end so I can get an even drizzle) and leave to set before serving.