by LORRAINE ELLIOT
Hello! I’m so glad to be back with you here at Mamamia, courtesy of Dilmah and their Real High Tea Challenge. Thank you to each and every one of you for your wonderful comments and warm welcome on my first post on the amazing Mamamia website. I smiled every time that I went back to read it.
So, where was I? Well, it probably makes sense to start from the beginning. It was about 5 years ago that my husband asked me what I wanted to blog about. I had come to the horrible self-esteem-crushing realisation that I was, in fact, not fashionable enough to be a fashion blogger. Nowhere close, really…
What I lacked in fashion, perhaps I made up for in enthusiasm about the topic of food. I came to cooking quite late in my life. However, it wasn’t the smoothest path to the kitchen. My mother never cooked with me; it was much the opposite. When I would try cooking, she would tell me that things smelled burnt and I was convinced that I couldn’t cook.
My first cakes were very simple items; there was certainly no spun sugar involved (and I try and stay away from it unless I’ve been drinking a lot of caffeine, and then it is kind of fun twisting strands in the same way that I did sparklers as a child). There also wasn’t much decoration involved; I just simply aimed to produce an edible cake that people liked.
I promised in the last post to show you some recipes and with the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge coming up I though this could give you a little inspiration. I’m starting with a simple one but I promise you that these are going to get harder! This cake is one of the first cakes that I made when I started baking and it’s actually hard to get it wrong.
I can’t actually remember where I got the recipe from, as it was scribbled on a dark green sheet of paper, which holds no clues. If I’m giving you the hard sell, I do apologise ahead of time, but this cake is a very simple one-bowl wonder, doesn’t need any special heavy machinery, and uses wholemeal flour without tasting ‘cardboardy’.
Tea is first and foremost on my mind come 4pm every day. Nothing compliments a slice of this cake quite like a hot cup of Dilmah tea, and for a cake such as this with its sweet, buttery texture, I’d suggest a smooth English Breakfast would pair wonderfully with this.
Easy Apple Tea Cake
- 3/4 cup plain wholemeal flour
- 3/4 cup self-raising flour
- 3/4 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 125g/4ozs melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 400g/14ozs. apples, cored and diced (you can even use tinned, and I don’t bother peeling them)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon or vanilla sugar
- Icing sugar to serve (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line an 20cm/8inch round springform tin with parchment paper.
2. Mix the two flours, sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in a bowl. Press three-quarters of the mix into the base of the tin – it will be like a sticky, buttery dough. Scatter the diced apples on top. Then place small pieces of the dough on it in a patchwork pattern so that the apple is not entirely covered up.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon or vanilla sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Sieve some icing sugar on top. Allow to cool before slicing as it is very delicate when warm.
Join Lorraine as she discovers the secrets to the perfect High Tea. Here’s Episode 1 – High Tea Evolution.
To find out how to win a luxury trip to Sri Lanka visit Dilmah’s Real High Tea Challenge.
Lorraine Elliott is the founder and editor of the food and travel blog Not Quite Nigella. She started the blog in September 2007 and blogs full time.
What’s your best cake recipe to serve with tea? Do you have any cooking questions for Not Quite Nigella?