fruit cake

Spicing it up on Sugar & Spice…Saffron Apple Cake

Yudhika Sujanani's Portuguese episode on Sugar & Spice - DSTv 176

Yudhika Sujanani’s Portuguese episode on Sugar & Spice – DSTv 176

We are on the 5th episode of Sugar & Spice on DSTv’s Home Channel. I have been completely overwhelmed by the response and the emails and messages have been heart warming. Thanks to all of you for following the show and including some of my recipes in your cooking repertoire.

I do cook a fair bit of Indian dishes everyday, whether at Holi Cow or for my family…we love traditional Indian food but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the only cuisine that I prepare. Italian, Middle Eastern and Moroccan recipes are some of my favourites but also Portuguese cuisine! Portuguese food and I don’t mean the Nando’s type peri peri chicken, is popular and the Lusitoland festival shows just how popular it is.

On this season of Sugar & Spice, I have been stepping out of my curry zone and doing some of my other favourites with you…I challenged myself only allowing two Indian themed episodes. The team decided on Italian, Moroccan, Chocolate, Mediterranean, South East Asian and a whole episode dedicated to the love of chocolate!

This week features a Portuguese influenced Brazilian Pork and Bean stew with orange and cocoa….yes, it does sound a bit like a dessert and not a common combination for the South African palate but believe me, it does work like a charm. The Mozambican Style Prawns cooked in a buttery juice with onions, garlic and stock….and a Saffron Apple Cake with home-made custard!

We have the Portuguese to thank for making spices a part of global cuisine….and we also have them to thank for the Goan Indian Vindaloo….more about the Lamb Vindaloo later!

No matter what the theme is, the Home Channel together with Spar and AMC Cookware have given me an opportunity to share my love of all things spicy with you….it has been an amazing adventure so far and looking forward to the next season!

Yudhika's Saffron Apple Cake on The Home Channel

Yudhika’s Saffron Apple Cake on The Home Channel

Here is the recipe for the Saffron Apple Cake…this is a beautiful fruity cake and the appearance makes it impressive. You can use mixed spice, cloves, and cardamom to flavour the batter but I stuck to the classic cinnamon. For more recipes from Sugar & Spice, log onto http://www.thehomechannel.co.za and click on the food show tab.

Ready to serve...Yudhika's Saffron Apple Cake drizzled with home-made custard!

Ready to serve…Yudhika’s Saffron Apple Cake drizzled with home-made custard!

Saffron Apple Cake

Ingredients

Few strands of saffron
6 large Granny Smith Apples
15ml lemon juice
5 eggs, separated
225g butter
225g sugar
30ml ground almonds or coconut flour
370g cake flour
185ml full cream milk, room temperature
15ml baking powder
5ml vanilla paste or essence
5ml cinnamon
Pinch of salt

30ml sugar
Icing sugar, to dust cake

Pre-heat oven to 170 degree celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottomed cake tin.

Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan for 30 seconds or microwave for 10 seconds.
Leave the saffron to cool and then crush lightly with your fingertips.
Peel and core the apples.
Cut the apples in half and slice thinly.
Lightly toss in the lemon juice to prevent the apples from discolouration.

Beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually add 15ml of from the 225g of weighed sugar until stiff.

Cream the butter until light in colour and gradually add the sugar.
Continue beating until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks with a teaspoon of flour and beat for a few seconds
Add the almond or coconut flour.
Gradually add the flour alternating with milk.
Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, crushed saffron and salt.
Beat well until the batter is smooth.
Lastly fold in half the stiffly beaten egg whites to ‘loosen’ the batter.
Fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth with a spatula.
Arrange the apples starting out at the centre and angling each piece working in an outward concentric pattern so its starts to look like a flower.
Use the smaller pieces to fill in the gaps – do not press the apple slices deep into the pastry. The should have a raised appearance.
Sprinkle 30ml sugar over the apples and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and shrinks away from the side of the tin.
Leave to cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Serve with home made custard.

French Style Custard

250ml fresh cream
5ml vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
70ml sugar

Heat the cream with vanilla paste, stirring continuously to prevent it from scorching.
Once the cream comes to the boil, place the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar into a paste and pour the hot cream over – this is an important step, do not add the eggs into the hot cream as this will cause the eggs to scramble.
Whisk the mixture and pour back into the pot.
Place the pot back on low heat and whisk continuously until the custard thickens.
Remove from the heat.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
Serve drizzled over the sliced saffron apple cake.

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Christmas countdown…cake!

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake!  Some things run in the family!  I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!

 

Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas.  I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!

 

Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster.  I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk!  I was devastated and got teased about it for months!

 

I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!

 

I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy!  You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard.  I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!

 

A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!

 

Light Christmas Fruit Cake

 

Ingredients

375g soft butter

300ml brown sugar

6 eggs

500g Safari Cake Mix

250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

10ml cinnamon

10ml mixed spice

5ml cardamom

2ml nutmeg

2ml salt

125ml milk

75ml brandy or whisky

100g whole almonds, blanched

 

 

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.

Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.

Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.