Apple Harvest Loaf Cake
Makes One 9×5-inch loaf
This apple loaf cake is hearty, and quite versatile. It does require quite a few ingredients, but the method for preparing the cake batter is very simple. Everything just needs to be mixed properly into a larger bowl, and poured into a parchment-lined loaf tin, and baked just until you can see the edges pulling away from the sides, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, but not completely (you want a few crumbs to stick to the cake tester; it’s a sign that your cake is baked, but still nice and moist).
I’ve tested the recipe many times, and each with slight variations: soft dark brown sugar instead of light muscovado sugar, almond meal in place of the wheat germ, buttermilk in place of the milk and yogurt, all cranberries and no raisins, all raisins and no cranberries, half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat pastry flour–and each variation works well. So, if you haven’t any light muscovado sugar, or just can’t find any, don’t fret- use soft dark brown sugar instead. Don’t like raisins? Use cranberries. Don’t have yogurt? Use buttermilk.
This loaf cake is not your usual kind, it’s easy, but it does require some time- in the form of waiting. There’s a bit of resting involved, about 8-12 hours worth, which only betters the flavors of the cake. But even I don’t follow my own directions sometimes, so if you lack the patience to let the cake rest (covered) overnight, or if you’re short on time, let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes or thereabouts, and then slice right in.
For the topping:
2 tablespoon / 14g Rolled Oats
1 tablespoon / 14g Packed Light Muscovado Sugar, (can use soft dark brown sugar)
Heaping ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Fine Grain Sea Salt
For the Cake:
1 Cup / 128g Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ cup (100g) Natural Cane Sugar / Granulated Sugar
½ cup / 50g Toasted Wheat Germ
½ cup / 40g Almond Meal
⅓ cup / 60g Packed Light Muscovado Sugar, Sifted (can use soft dark brown sugar)
1 tablespoon / 7g Ground Cinnamon
2 ½ teaspoons / 12g Baking Powder
1 ¼ teaspoons / 7g Fine Grain Sea Salt
¾ teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
⅓ cup / 30g Rolled Oats
⅓ cup / 75g Greek Yogurt (no-fat is okay), at room temperature
⅓ cup / 75g Whole Milk, at room temperature
5 tablespoons / 70g Unsalted Butter, Melted
1 Large Egg, at room temperature
2 cups / 200g McIntosh Apples (about 2), cored & chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
½ cup / 35g Walnut Pieces, toasted and roughly chopped
¼ cup / 30g Dried Cranberries
¼ cup / 30g Golden Raisins (Sultanas)
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C / Gas Mark 4, and line the bottom of a 9×5-inch (23cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
Mix together the topping ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
For the cake, mix together the first 11 [dry] ingredients (from the flour to the oats) together in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, briefly whisk together the greek yogurt, milk, melted butter, and the large egg.
Mix the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
Briefly stir in the apples, walnuts, cranberries, and golden raisins into the batter, just so that each of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Pour the batter into the waiting parchment-lined loaf tin, and evenly sprinkle (from a height) the topping mixture over the top of the loaf. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the cake is set on top and begins to pull away from the sides, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Once baked, cover the loaf tin with aluminum foil, and let the cake rest covered for about 8-12 hours (refer to headnotes). Serve with salted butter or honeyed almond butter, a few thin apple slices, and a cup of warm cider, tea, or coffee.
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