With all my frequent allusions to the weather on my blog, you'd be forgiven for thinking I was a meteorologist in my previous career - I wasn't! Growing up in SA, the weatherman on TV was always the weather man never a glam weather-girl, so I never felt any pull towards that profession.
But now I'm a baking-girl, and the weather and the seasons have such a strong influence on what I bake and the classes I run, that it's a matter of daily concern.
And that is something I must remember to be very grateful for! In my real previous profession I would have spent most of the day in an air-conditioned, artificially-lit environment; with few or no windows on the outside world. Unhealthy, huh?!
Now, if the rain is playing havoc with my royal icing, I can just choose to make a comforting butterscotch apple cake instead : )
And with its ingredients of apples, oats and pecan nuts, you can be comforted with the belief that while it may be cake - it's good for you. Really!
Apple and Pecan Cake
Recipe by Tea, Cake and Create
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup veg oil
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups finely chopped apple
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans (save a few to scatter over the top of the finished cake).
Beat together the eggs, sugar and oil.
Sift the dry ingredients together.
Mix into the beaten egg mixture.
Fold in the oats, nuts and apple.
Divide batter into 2 round cake pans (I used 7inch pans)
Bake for 35 - 40min, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cream cheese icing
(Makes enough for filling and covering the cake, halve the ingredients if just filling between layers and covering the top of the cake. )
2 x 250g tubs cream cheese, chilled (the dense variety - like Woolworths or Lancewood brand)
200g butter at room temp
1 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
Beat together icing sugar and butter until smooth.
Add cream cheese and vanilla and beat until mixed.
Spread on the cake once it has cooled completely.
30ml brown sugar
40ml golden syrup
1tsp vanilla extract ( or 8-10 drops of Vanilla Girl vanilla)
Melt the butter, syrup and sugar together in a saucepan. Stir constantly until all the sugar granules have melted.
Add the cream and vanilla. Mix well.
Boil for 3 minutes.
Don't let the sauce boil for too long - this will make it turn into toffee....which is only a problem if you are planning on pouring it not chewing it...
Allow to cool before pouring over cream-cheese-frosted top of the cake.
(If you've refrigerated it, just soften the sauce by heating in the microwave for a few seconds.)
Scatter some chopped pecans over the butterscotch surface.