I was looking into my fridge and realised that those apples had been there for quite some time. After checking if they were still in good condition, I decided I wanted to bake an apple cake. I was looking for an easy recipe because I didn’t have much time – and, you know, I’m lazy! 😉
So I turned once again to Technicolor Kitchen and, although many recipes seemed to be rather painstaking (I guess Patricia is just not afraid of all the mess and washing-up!), one in special caught my attention: an easy apple cake with caramel sauce. I had all the ingredients, except that my apples were not green… I decided to go for it anyway but, instead of making one big cake, I made one loaf and 12 cupcakes. I liked the idea of a caramel sauce but I’ve been meaning to make butterscotch for such a long time I could not postpone it any longer. And that’s how I found the “Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce”, from Smitten Kitchen. Couldn’t be any easier: 5 ingredients + 5 minutes on stovetop = gorgeous butterscotch!
420g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
300ml (1 ¼ cups) vegetable oil
400g (2 cups) sugar
3 large eggs
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used 4 fuji apples)
Preheat the oven to 165ºC/325ºF. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform tube tin (I used one loaf tin and one 12-hole muffin tin).
In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda and whisk together. In a large bowl, whisk oil with sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Fold in the diced apples with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool slightly.
RIDICULOUSLY EASY BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE
60g (¼ cup) unsalted butter
110g (½ cup) muscovado sugar
125ml (½ cup) double cream
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt (or ¼ teaspoon regular salt), plus more to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream and salt and whisk until well blended. [A flat whisk works great here.] Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, stirring to combine.
NOTES: Although the instructions for the cake made me believe that it would be easy to whisk it by hand, the batter is very heavy and I regretted not using my electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
I used a silicone mould and, because the batter is so heavy, the cake got a bit warped.
If you’re making cupcakes, refrain from adding more than the usual ice-cream scoop. I had a little batter left after filling the 12 holes and decided to add it to some cups. They overflowed, of course!
* I never use extract, I prefer vanilla paste. That’s why in some photos you see little black freckles.