I know it seems a little much to still be talking (or blogging) about the holiday season when its nearly the end of the January but since this has been a surprisingly busy month, I'm only just getting around to writing this post so please stick with me, it is relevant. Sort of.
So as predicted, my Christmas largely revolved round food and drink. The miniature mince pies from my last post went down extremely well in the office on our last day and then it was off to my parents for lots of wine and holiday foods. This included my cooking my first ever Christmas dinner, of which I'm still quite proud followed by a horrendous amount of chocolates, wine and christmas pudding. Not surprisingly I also received plenty of food related Christmas gifts, including stacks of new cookbooks so I'll be doing some review posts once I've had a chance to use them properly.
I spent the final portion of the holiday in Liverpool visiting Dave's family which meant the opportunity to enjoy more festive eating and drinking - this is where we meet the loaf cake. I sampled my first slice of 'apple crumble loaf' at Leaf, one of my favourite tea shops (their autumn fire tea is my current favourite for the cold weather) and have been trying to work out how to recreate it ever since. Having been too shy to ask for the recipe or any of the ingredients I tried a (pretty unhelpful) google search, and then thought the best way to figure it out would be with trial and error.
Whilst this first attempt is not really the cake I remembered, it is really great in its own right so I wanted to share it with you. So here is my first version of the crumble cake, pretty simple to make and a nice alternative to a traditional crumble.
This was also the first recipe that allowed me to try out my new electric mixer (new to me anyway, I think it had been sitting unused in a cupboard at my grandparents since the mid seventies!) and whilst at first I insisted it 'hadn't changed my life', I've since tried to make a recipe without it and had serious withdrawal. I've definitely been converted and am now a happy member of the electric mixer club but you certainly don't need them for any of my recipes, this one included. Anyway, on with the baking!
250g self-raising flour
175g brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp ginger
2 apples (peeled and chopped finely)
125g self-raising flour
90g brown sugar
1-2 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
To make the cake, mix together the dry ingredients and then whisk in the butter and eggs. In a separate bowl, coat the apple pieces in a sprinkle of flour and cinnamon (this will help stop the cake from getting soggy inside) and then stir into the rest of the mix. Spoon your mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin, trying to ensure the apple is distributed reasonably evenly throughout the cake.
To make the crumble topping rub together the flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon together until it resembles the breadcrumbs you'd expect from a regular crumble topping. Then slowly add in water until you start to get slightly bigger lumps. Sprinkle the crumble on to your cake mix, cover with foil and then bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees. Bake for a further fifteen minutes uncovered to brown the top. You can serve this warm with custard or cream or wait for it to cool down.