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Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake, perfect for a rainy autumn day

I was over at my parent’s place this weekend because I was looking after all the sick people there. Mostly this just involved feeding people, something I rather enjoy. I knocked up this simple little cake because there were lots of apples to be eaten or used, and a slice of comforting apple cake on an autumnal day is surely good medicine even if you’re not feeling poorly.

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • half tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eating apples (I used Pink Lady), cored and chopped into small chunks
  • generous handful raisins

Heat the oven to 170C and grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat, then add about half the flour and mix to incorporate, then mix in the second egg followed by the remaining flour, baking powder and cinnamon (if you’re a big cinnamon fan, I’d say chuck in an extra half teaspoon). Mix well, then stir in the apple chunks and raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour. It’s done when golden and it springs back when pressed with a fingertip. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about half an hour before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Easy Bread & Butter Pudding

Bread & Butter Pudding

Don’t waste bread left-overs – turn them into Easy Bread & Butter Pudding

I was over at my parents’ place yesterday, visiting them and my mum’s aunt who is staying with them at the moment. My mum had a stale loaf of French bread knocking about, so I volunteered to turn it into a Bread & Butter Pudding for them, knowing how much my dad and aunt love a traditional pud. This recipe isn’t terribly precise because I wasn’t measuring anything when I made it; the whole point of Bread & Butter Pudding is to use up left-over bread, so you’ll want to adapt it to how much bread you have and the size of the dish you make it in.

Easy Bread & Butter Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarters of a stale (but not mouldy!) French stick
  • about 50g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • About 1.5 pints whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • couple handfuls raisins/sultanas
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • scant grating nutmeg

Slice and butter the bread. Arrange the slices in an ovenproof dish that fits the slices snugly. In a bowl or large jug, beat the eggs then add the milk and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread; it should come nearly to the top of the bread slices, but not cover them – you may not need all the liquid at this stage. Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour while the liquid soaks into the bread. If you have any unused liquid remaining you can keep topping it up as it’s absorbed into the bread, but be sure to leave the tops of the slices sticking out – this way you’ll get a lovely soft, custardy underneath of the pudding, and a sweet, crunchy crust.

Heat the oven to 200C. Scatter the top of the pudding with the fruit, sugar and spices. Cook for around 25 – 35 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on how big your dish is). It’s done when the top is golden and crisp, and the centre is soufflé-like. Serve hot or warm on its own, or for extra indulgence with cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.

If you don’t have the spices you could grate some lemon or orange zest over the pudding instead.