Hello Autumn and hello flavours ……..deep, comforting, heart warming flavours…
I love this time of year when the leaves are changing, the weather cools down…THAT has been a big deal for me this time… summer was way too long and way too hot…. and it’s just about mellowing down, getting stuff done and doing things that get you geared up… I think the change in weather always gives us that boost of energy we seem to need… and all of this positivity before the REAL cold sets in and I’m off complaining again
There’s something about apples and cinnamon isn’t there? I’m just obsessed with those smells, that and CHAI as you all know, is a HUGE obsession… a bit worrying perhaps?
It doesn’t matter because here are the little cakes of joy that will make you want to curl up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea or coffee and just dunk or bite these babies… instant comfort and happy belly WILL surely happen
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons black tea leaves ( I used Darjeeling)
- 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) plain all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon (for coating the grated apples)
- 1 cup ( 4 1/4 ounces) whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
- 2 cloves, freshly ground
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon star anise, freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon butter for greasing the pan
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature + extra butter to grease baking pan
- 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar, packed
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
- 2 large granny smith apples, peeled and grated (you should get approximately 1-1 1/2 cups of squeeze grated fruit pulp)
- 1-2 teaspoons of confectioner’s sugar, for dusting the cake
- Center a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325F.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea leaves to the water and continue to boil for one minute. Remove the saucepan from the stove and allow the tea leaves to steep in the water for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid through a tea strainer into a clean cup and discard the leaves. Rinse the saucepan clean (to make sure there are no residual tea leaves left behind). Transfer the tea back into the saucepan and bring it back to a boil on a high flame. Reduce the flame to a gentle simmer and reduce the liquid volume to approximately 1/4 cup. At this stage remove the tea and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Whisk and blend all the ingredients from the flour to the star anise and keep aside.
- Line a round 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease evenly with the butter.
- Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 7 minutes on medium speed. Beat in one egg at a time to get a smooth and creamy cake batter. Add the cooled concentrated tea prepared earlier to the batter and mix completely.
- Add half of the whisked dry ingredients to the cake batter. Combine completely into the batter until no more flecks of flour can be seen. Stop the mixer and add the yogurt to the batter and beat gently on low speed until combined completely. Beat in the remaining flour until no more flecks of flour can be seen.
- Gently squeeze the liquid out of the grated apples between the palms of your hands and reserve two tablespoons of the juice. Toss the apples in the extra flour and fold in the grated apples and the reserved juice into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula and bake for 50-60 minutes in the oven. Half-way through the baking process, open the oven and rotate the cake pan to ensure even baking. The cake is completely baked when the center is firm to touch or when a skewer comes out clean from the center. Remove the baked cake and allow it cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Run a knife between the edges of the cake and the pan and transfer the cake to a wire rack. Cool the cake completely to room temperature for at least 1-2 hours. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.