In the wise words of Julia Child, “a party without cake is just a meeting”.
(Preach it Julia, you speak to my soul)
Personally a normal day without the presence of something sweet is just a day miserably spent.
Man, just imagine the empty hearts at a celebration with nothing sweet to fill your spirit!
So naturally, I am a firm believer in cake making a full attendance at any sort of merrymaking.
(if not, you’ll see a very confused blonde standing awkwardly in the corner trying to look busy, but really trying to sniff out the nearest sugar hot spot/making up for it by eating 2 mains)
And, there so no better a time for cakes to shine in all their sweet sweet glory then at Birthdays.
Making this mighty special day the pinnacle of all that is sweet and good in this world.
I mean, hellloooooooo, you pretty much crowd around it, sing ‘happy birthday’ praises to its name, and then almost crack a sweat as beads of candle wax threaten the surfaces of the perfectly butter creamed cake.
(Then pretend to stand patiently as you wait for a slice, when in reality, you want to bust the 1st in line kid out of the way, and cut yourself a massive slice, cause life’s too short, yeah?)
Now, why is Bec going all cake adoring on us? (not that’s not the norm here or anything…)
But I got a happy reason to be all cake giddy on y’all – it’s my sister’s and my birthday! (yah, she my twin, so we share a lot of stuff… including the 4th of October…) HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!!!!!!
Trina and I have always had a thing for a lil’ bit of the unconventional birthday cake…
I mean, yah like every other kid, we had ice-cream birthday cakes back in the ye olde days (cause they were the fricken bomb dot com / will ever reign the most loved kid cake of all time) but as we bursted out into the mega cool, too cool for ice-cream cake age zone (correction, you’re never too old for ice-cream cake) we went Lemon Tart mad.
As in every celebration lemon tart ca-ray-zay. Cause who gonna hate on the lemon tart?
Next level, when we graduated from Lemon Tart frenzy and bounced onto Apple Tarte Tatin (unintentional french theme going on). We had them all, Tarte Tatin made from brown sugar, maple syrup, caster sugar, the list goes on… we had a mini obsession (that may or may not still be present today…)
Now? Well, Trina being in Melbourne and me being in London makes it a little hard to share a slice of birthday cake (legit silent tear) so I decided to make her a virtual cake.
(Cause what else do you do then publish photos everywhere of her ideal cake that she can’t eat… smart move Bec…. )
Being both mega chai fans (totally claim her obsession for them… she wouldn’t be the chai lover that she is today without me forcing her to get over the ‘mega ewww i tastes like potpourri stage into ‘omg it’s a hug in a mug’) I used the classic chai spices, along with some apple and dates (cause that is actually her favourite cake combo) and some butterscotch sauce cause seriously, why not?!
Butterscotch is almost like caramels ‘easier-to-make’ younger brother, which is ideal for my sister, cause she will be able to make this bake! (she’s a self-confessed taste-tester rather then cook…. we have a family saying that goes “if Katrina can make it, anyone can make it)
So, from the other side of the world, I wanna wish you the happiest of birthdays sis, and here’s to a new decade!
Wish I could be there to celebrate with you! But in the mean time here is a virtual cake for you to see (and as it goes… for me to eat <— good only sister banter right there)
SPICED APPLE CAKE WITH BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE
butterscotch recipe from taste.com.au
80g dates, chopped
2 black or chai tea bags
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 star anise
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cardamom
175g butter, softened
125g dark-brown sugar
3 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 royal gala apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 180°C, and grease and line the base of a 22cm cake tin. Put the dates, water, tea bags, cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds, cloves and cardamon in a small saucepan and bring to the boil then simmer covered for 10 minutes slowly, until the dates have absorbed the water, remove the spices and tea bags, then set aside to cool.
2.Core the apples, slice thinly and toss them with the lemon juice, then set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, fold in the flour and cinnamon, then stir in the date mixture. Spoon into the tin and level off.
3. Arrange the slices on top of the cake and bake for 35-45 minutes (covering the cake with foil if it starts to brown too much), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Drizzle with the butterscotch to serve and enjoy!
To make the Butterscotch Sauce: (can be made a day in advance)
1. Place the cream, sugar, butter and vanilla essence in a medium heavy-based saucepan, stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until well combined.
2. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside for 2 hours or until cooled to room temperature.
Thanks for stopping by!