For my next January challenge I decided to enter Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen. Dom, who is the guy behind Belleau Kitchen, asked if we could choose a recipe from someone else's kitchen for this challenge. My initial thought was to ask my Mum but as most of our cook books are the same I knew I was unlikely to get something new. My second thought was to ask my friend Sam. I have known Sam for a few years and we meet up once or twice a month for coffee and a catch up. We have many similar interests but one thing we don't share is my love for food and cooking. Sam eats to live, I live to eat. For this reason I have never told her that I have a food blog, conscious of not wanting to be a food bore and to witness the slight glazing over of eyes that I see from my husband when I start to talk about food. I sent her an email along the lines of "Hi Sam, would you mind choosing a recipe from one of your books and sending it over to me. It can be anything you want. Tks." Now Sam has been in my kitchen and knows I have 100's of books so I kind of anticipated her answer. The replay back was "What do you mean? Why are you asking me when you have so many recipe books?” I knew this was going to be hard to explain but I went with it anyway. I replied back, "I know it sounds weird but I am cooking something random for a guy called Dom.” The reply back was quick, "Who is Dom?” I was now having fun and decided to go with the flow. "Well he is a guy on the Internet.” Another quick reply, "You're talking to a guy on the Internet and cooking for him? What's going on?” "Don't worry about it," I said. "Nothing untoward is going on. Just send me a recipe and I'll tell you all about it next time I see you.” Not long after I received an email back with a recipe from The Fairtrade Everyday Cookbook for a Chocolate Apple Cake. She closed the email with "Can we meet for coffee this week?”
I feel slightly mean for keeping her in suspense and I know she won't fully understand why I'm cooking something completely random for a guy I've never met but that's blogging for you.
I made the cake a couple of days ago and loved it. I still had a couple of apples from our apple tree lurking in the back of my fridge and so made my own apple puree. There is something oddly satisfying about using home grown produce. I even had Fairtrade cocoa and Fairtrade chocolate so felt I was doing the recipe justice. The raw cake mixture was thick and fudgy and quite different to any other chocolate cake mixtures I've made before. Once cooked, the cake was beautifully moist and had the slightest hint of apple to taste. I was running out of time to finish it off, so wrapped it up in tinfoil and only took it out to ice today (2 days later). It was still moist and fudgy. I topped it off with the chocolate topping which I have to say set really quickly and had a nice crispness to it. If anything the topping slightly overpowered the taste of apple in the cake but it is still good. This is not a showstopper of a cake but more a family favourite and so much better for having some fresh apple in it.
Now I really must get back to Sam about that coffee date.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 1 hr 5 mins
Yield: 16 squares
- 120 ml vegetable oil
- 225g Fairtrade sugar
- 1 large egg
- 175 g plain flour
- 40g Fairtrade cocoa
- 1.5 tsp Fairtrade ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 225g apple puree (from 2 med apples and 125 ml apple juice or water)
- 75g Fairtrade plain chocolate
- 25g butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). Grease and flour a 20 cm square baking tin.
- Peel, core and chop the apple up into small chunks.
- Place the apple juice and apple in a saucepan and simmer gently until the apple breaks up easily.
- Puree the apples, measure out 225g and set aside to cool.
- Beat the oil, sugar and egg in a large bowl until pale in colour and fluffy and set aside.
- Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in another bowl.
- Stir alternate spoonfuls of the flour mixture and the apple puree into the egg mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in the oven.
- Bake for 35 mins, or until a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Melt the chocolate for the icing in a bowl set above hot water in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter making sure there are no lumps left.
- Spread over the top of the cake to decorate.
Written by : Angela Darroch