When CSR Sugar asked me to take over their Instagram page for a weekend, they asked me to share two recipes - one showcasing the beauty of baking with the kiddies in the holidays and another that was either seasonal or brought up nostalgic feelings. Immediately this cake came to mind, totally in keeping with the seasonal and nostalgic theme.
Thinking about the first time I enjoyed this beauty, I cannot help but smile. When my family and I arrived in Greece last year, my aunty came running out of her house (which is next door to my father's patriarchal home), welcoming us with warm hugs and a plate of the best apple cake I've ever had. As we enjoyed more of the cake with coffee the next day I couldn't resist asking her for the recipe...and it was so simple it almost didn't sound right!
She would be thrilled it's now found its way across the globe, showcasing beautiful in season apples (as any Greek cook worth their while would never buy fruit or veggies out of season) and bringing forth nothing but smiles, memories of family, lots of laughter and general good cheer...oh, and that sauce, that ouzo caramel sauce, is so amazing, I dare you not to make it to go over pancakes, pudding, ice cream or anything you would normally serve with a butterscotch type sauce.
I hope you like the recipe!
(In paid partnership with CSR Sugar)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
- 2 tablespoons CSR premium demerara sugar, plus a teaspoon extra for sprinkling
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup CSR caster sugar
- ½ cup CSR brown sugar
- 3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch sea salt flakes
- 3 medium Delicious or Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons ouzo
- 1 teaspoon CSR soft icing mixture, to serve
To make the ouzo caramel sauce (if desired):
- ½ cup CSR golden syrup
- 1/3 cup CSR brown sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- ½ cup normal pouring cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons ouzo
- pinch sea salt flakes
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm round cake tin. Lightly grease the tin again and sprinkle the base and sides with the demerara sugar. Set aside.
- Place the oil in a large bowl and add the lightly beaten eggs. Whisk to incorporate the two. Add the sugars and whisk again. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder directly over the batter and add the sea salt flakes. Lightly fold until only floury streaks remain. Add the apples, walnuts and ouzo and fold lightly just until no flour streaks remain.
- Pour the batter into the tin and level the top with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle with the extra demerara sugar and pop in the oven to bake for 55-60 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. As the cake is packed with apples take extra care with the skewer test – if there is any hint of batter at all on the skewer, leave to bake for a further few minutes before testing again.
- Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before turning onto a wire rack (correct side up) to cool.
- If you would like to make the ouzo caramel sauce, place the golden syrup, brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan and stir over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the cream and stir to combine. Lower the heat and allow the sauce to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. After that time, add the ouzo and sea salt flakes and then remove from the heat. Cool for at least half an hour.
- Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour before dusting with the soft icing mixture and then slicing to serve on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and the ouzo caramel sauce.