When I was a kid, we used to have these wicked bake sales at school and I would always request that Mum made toffees with 100’s and 1000’s or toffee apples. I adore toffee. Upon becoming a member of the blogging community a few years ago, I found that there was a different variation on the old apple on a stick that I loved so much. Caramel! and sprinkles! and nuts! I am not sure that I’m ready for the world of caramel apples on a stick, but I do love my caramel sauce over this cake.
So I suppose this is an apple caramel really? I used the juice from poaching the apples to create the sauce. Whatever it is, it had such a great flavour. Like a big fat smack in the face from a bag of sugar. My favourite kind of smack in the face.
I have to tell you, on a Sunday afternoon this has to be one of the best smells. Cinnamon cake floating through the whole house and as it cools on the rack, the caramel smell picks up. It’s very homely and warm but has made me realise that as soon as Summer hits, I won’t be able to bake. I have been very spoilt with a very cool apartment for the past few years, but our new apartment will be an absolute sauna. I have already started preparing frozen bottles for little bunny butts to rest on.
If you’re not an Aussie, which most of you will not be, you may have a bit of trouble coming up with macadamia nuts. They are our national nut as far as I’m concerned and I was one of those kids that grew up with a big macadamia tree and we actually had a nut cracked built into our kitchen bench. They used to sit in a big bowl on the kitchen bench ready for us to snack on. . . that was until my little brother developed his nut allergy! Poor little bugger will never know the joy of cracking your own macadamias.
And then there was the phase where Dad decided that macadamia nut oil was good for EVERYTHING. I’m talking everything. He had a 4 litre drum that he used to cook with, use as lotion and even wax up the surf board.
Make sure you watch your apples quite intensely so that they don’t over cook. There is nothing more unappealing than over cooked vegetables and fruit. They just fall apart and we don’t want sloppy baby food sitting proudly on top of a cake. Mine still had a slight crunch, but that is just how I like them. Be careful with the hot syrup too – it’s hot syrup!
Follow my lead. . .
- 250g butter, cubed, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts
- 2 red apples, peeled, cut into 1/8ths
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 40g butter
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 170C and line a 20cm round cake tin with canola oil spray and baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed until lightened in colour and thickened, approximately 4 minutes.
- Fold through the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and milk and then pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Place into the oven for 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a cake rack.
- While the cake is cooling slightly, add the apples, brown sugar and water to a small frypan and allow to simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the apples are softened.
- Using a small pair of silicone tongs, place the apples onto the top of the cake and add the butter to the pan and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Pour caramel over the cake and top with macadamia nuts.