I dont cook many desserts and post about them even less, but this humdinger of a Dan Lepard cake is something worth shouting about. A fruity mix of texture and taste,it’s wonderfully sweet without being overpoweringly so. And it’s morish to a worrying degree, particularly when slathered in maple syrup.
This concoction somewhere between a cake, a tarts and a cafloutie. Chunks of sweet apple, bitter walnuts and wobbly globules of custard are – just – bound together
with a moist-crumbed cake. This is a cake for all occasions whether with a cup of tea after a long misty walk, or after a slap up meal.
Which is just as well because I was casting round for a birthday cake for Mrs GW and this one came to the rescue. It’s featured in the brilliant Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard and is something you can make at the relatively last minutes.
Sure the ingredient list is long, but it’s straightforward to assemble and cooks in 45 minutes. I substituted a few of the ingredients (bourbon for brandy and plain for corn flour) and it didn’t seem to have a deleterious effect. I reckon you could add a scattering of Demerara sugar on top just to add some crunch to affairs as well.
Apple, walnut, custard and bourbon cake
175 full fat milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
50g light brown sugar
2 dessert spoons plain flour
1 medium egg
Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan until mostly smooth, then turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Whisk while the custard is heating up until its thick. Spoon it into a bowl and chill until firm.
Apple and walnut filling
4 dessert apples (I used russet) – peeled, cored and quartered
50g light brown sugar
75ml bourbon (or brandy, rum, Scotch…)
75-100g chopped walnuts (or hazelnuts, almonds, pecans etc)
Put all the ingredients in a pan and cook over a hi heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool.
100g light brown sugar
75g unsalted butter, softened
2 medium eggs
50g plain flour
Half tblsp baking powder
Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time, beating them in as you go. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
Line the base of a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and heat the oven to 180C.
Chop the custard roughly and fold into the cake mixture gently without pulverising the custard or combining the two. Pour gently into the cake tin. Swirl in the apple and walnut mix.
Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm with creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt and maple syrup.