Recent work and related commitments have meant my time in the kitchen in general has been a little scarce, let alone my time in the kitchen with Archie. It has therefore been a pleasure this week to have found some time again to hang out together and create some of our customary havoc. With his morning nap now completely dropped, we have more time than ever before lunch to fill when I am looking after him. This is when the kitchen really comes into its own. Easy wipe-free surfaces, pots, pans, stirrers and ingredients make for and endless supply of things to do.
When we spend time in the kitchen in the morning, there is nothing better than preparing a morning snack together. Make it, bake it, eat it. We had found a bag full of fallen apples (no idea what variety) in the alleyway near to our house and so decided to cook with them.
Apple cake is dead easy. I basically make a classic Victoria sponge mixture, add in the apples, sprinkle some demerara sugar on top and bake. This version is an adapted version of that. I had a few raspberries in the fridge so added them in. I also had the remains of some ground almonds so mixed them in too. They really did add to the moistness of the cake.
As a final small twist, I baked the cake in a rectangular tin, rather than my usual round tin. This made it very easy to just cut the cake up into little squares. Best straight out of the oven but they also keep for a good few days in an airtight container. Best of all, they freeze really well and defrost quickly, meaning that a hearty chunk of snack is never too far away.
Mind you, with a growing toddler, a tired daddy and a heavily pregnant mummy, this tray cake didn’t stand a chance. I am duty bound to report that it did not make it to its final destination. It was gone before the freezer door opened…
[NB - Sorry about my t-shirt, it's a simple stripy number but the camera really didn't like it in the face-on shots! Unplanned psychedelia!]
Easy apple and raspberry tray cake
Preparation time 10-15 minutes
Cooking time 45-50 minutes
About 400g firm cooking apples or other “sharp” variety
A punnet of raspberries (we had a handful left in the fridge, hence why we added them to this recipe! You can use as many or as few as you want)
Juice of one lemon
225g plain butter
225g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
2-3 heaped tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F and grease an 8 inch rectangular baking tin with butter, then line it with baking paper.