I was flicking through a cook book looking for inspiration for a quick dessert and came across a pear and ginger cake. It looked delicious but I wanted something lighter and a bit more dainty and so moved on, but I couldn’t get the cake out of my head so I decided to alter it by using apples and cinnamon instead.
I hit upon the idea of baking them in individual tart tins and placing the apple in the base instead of on the top, turning them into upside-down mini cakelettes. I also added a layer of caramel syrup to the base, to create a sort of take on tarte tatin only with cake instead of pastry.
For the apple I used Red Delicious as its deep red skin and firm flesh make it ideal for maintaining its shape and colour during cooking. I’m not a fan of the apples to eat raw as they can sometimes be a bit fluffy, but this they were perfect. Golden syrup formed the base of my caramel syrup which does away with the need for a sugar thermometer and speeds up the process no end.
Once baked, I nervously upended the cakelette onto a plate (with the help of rubber gloves) and it came out perfectly – hurrah! It looked so pretty and smelt gorgeous, all apple, cinnamon, moist sponge and sweet sticky caramel.
Caramel Apple Cakelettes
For the sponge
110g self raising flour
75g caster sugar
1 level tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 eating apple (I used Red Delicious)
For the caramel syrup
2½ tbsp golden syrup (100g)
55ml single cream or whole milk
Preheat the oven to 180C and arrange 4 small tart tins on a baking tray.
First make the caramel syrup. Add the golden syrup, milk and butter into a small pan and heat gently, stirring until all the ingredients have melted together.
Then increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil and allow to bubble for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the sponge, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs and beat again. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and beat together along with the vanilla.
Then cut the apple into quarters, remove the core and slice into very thin slices, so you end up with crescent shaped apple slices.
Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the syrup over the base of the cake moulds, until the bottom is covered, but leave a couple of spoonfuls left over for decoration.
Arrange the apple slices neatly in the syrup, so that they overlap slightly. Remember, this will become the top once they are turned out.
Spoon over the sponge mixture in small blobs, spreading it out into an even surface right to the edges of the tin to form a seal. If possible make sure the syrup does not rise up above the sponge layer.
Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes and golden and springy to the touch.
Allow to cool for 3 minutes before running a knife around the rim of the tin and turning out the cakes onto a plate, bottom side up. (Wear rubber gloves to hold the moulds)
Decorate the plate with a few dots of the remaining syrup and serve straight away.
They also taste great cold.