Apple cake with caramel sauce

(Makes 1 large cake)

2 medium apples
60 g butter or margarine
125 ml light brown sugar
125 g butter or margarine
160 ml castor sugar
5 ml vanilla essence
2 extra-large eggs
375 ml Snowflake self-raising flour (210 g)
3 ml bicarbonate of soda
250 ml buttermilk
60 ml fresh cream

Peel, core and quarter apples. Cut into thin slices. Add 60 g butter to a heavy- based saucepan and fry apples for a few minutes until softened. Add brown sugar and fry further for about 5 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Set apples and liquid aside. Beat butter, castor sugar and essence well together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients and add, alternately with buttermilk to egg mixture. Spread two-thirds of the mixture into pan. Top with apples, leaving a 2 cm border around the edge; cover with remaining mixture. Bake about 50 minutes. Stand cake a few minute, turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Sauce: Return reserved apple liquid to large frying pan, add cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer about 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Pour sauce over cake.

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