This week saw the Bake Off tent get all spicy with its first ever Spice Week. 3 Hollywood Handshakes were awarded in the signature ginger cake challenge, the ma’amoul technical was, well, technical and the biscuit chandelier showstopper left some bakers’ fate hanging in the balance.
I decided to try my own version of the signature challenge and make my first ever ginger cake! With autumn well on its way, the pairing of fruit with spice is a classic baking and dessert combination. I took inspiration from this flavour combination, as well as a scroll through Instagram, to create an Upside Down Apple Ginger Loaf Cake.
I used Braeburn apples for this recipe as they were on offer in the supermarkets but use whichever apple variety you can get hold of. You want an apple that will retain its shape and not disintegrate when cooking so that when you flip the cake out of the loaf tin, it looks attractive. I also like to keep the skin on the apples for the slight colour contrast in the finished cake (and for ease). As well as using ground ginger, I add a small amount of mixed spice, nutmeg and ground cinnamon for a more rounded and complimentary flavour.
Many ginger cake recipes call for a combination of golden syrup and/or black treacle which add deep flavour and strong colour. I really like using honey in cake recipes and I thought I would experiment with using honey here too. You can’t taste the honey much but it works well with the spices in the cake and helps to give a soft, light and tender cake.
The loaf tin I have used in the recipe is a Kaiser 25cm loaf tin. There is enough cake batter here to fill the tin about halfway, which requires an hour of baking. Feel free to adapt with the size of the loaf tin and adjust the baking time accordingly.
For the apples:
2 medium Braeburn apples
20g granulated sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
For the gingerbread sponge:
100g granulated sugar
130g runny honey
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 small eggs
50ml whole milk
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 25cm loaf tin with strips of parchment with overhang to lift the cake out easily.
In a saucepan over a medium heat, melt together the margarine, sugar and honey until the sugar has dissolved and then set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, combine together all of the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre and also set aside.
Meanwhile prepare the apples. De-core the apples and slice each apple in half. Cut half moons of the apple, about 2mm thick. Arrange the apples in 2 layers on the base of the loaf tin, firstly taking the largest apple slices and overlapping them in a single line down the centre of the tin and placing a second layer of apples on top, again overlapping this time in 2 lines. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar and cinnamon. You should have some spare apples; take 10 slices of apple and chop them into pieces and set aside.
Pour the cooled margarine and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until it is almost mixed in fully. Add in one egg and beat to combine fully. Add in the second egg as well as the extra chopped up apple pieces and mix until incorporated. Lastly pour in the milk and mix to incorporate until the batter is even looking.
Pour the cake batter on top of the arranged apple slices and shake the tin to level out the batter. Bake the cake for around 50 – 60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool inside the tin for around 10 minutes before lifting out and transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.
To serve, turn the cake upside down, dust the cake with icing sugar and slice the loaf cake. The cake is fantastic slightly warmed up and served with ice cream or custard.
- Biscuit Week: Wagon Wheels (without gelatine)
- Cake Week: Hazelnut and Coffee Traybake
- Bread Week: Flapjack Chelsea Buns
- Dessert Week: White Chocolate and Black Sesame Biscuits