14 September 2015

Almond, Apple Spiced Loaf

It seems to have taken forever to get here. The actual writing the words down part to this post... 

It felt forced and unconnected and I just didn't want to fill it with some anecdotal drivel that you would all roll your eyes at. You ever get days like that? Where you feel like there's something niggling and if you just stay quiet and listen, all will right itself and you can find your voice again?

In those times I like to bake. Methodically bake, where I know the recipe inside out and just get on with it. It helps reassure me I am not losing it, but rather taking my time through it. It's also the time I bake comfort. Old school style recipes, nurturing and warming and filled with nostalgia. 

Now to be honest, this cake isn't a sweet old bake from my childhood, nor is it some happy moment I shared with who, what and why. It's a... what I had in leftovers mixed with what I knew how to bake, served with a side of feeling the autumn chill. I'd like to pretend that it had some semblance to some cherished memory but alas.. I can not. 

Hence the disconnect. 

What it did serve as, was a way to relax, slow down and gather myself. It was enjoyed over many cups of tea, shared with friends that brought that fuzzy feeling round again. It started making it's own memories. It's magic.

Apple Sauce
(makes about one jam jar's worth of sauce)

4 apples, peeled cored and chopped up.
25ml water
pinch nutmeg
brown sugar to taste

Add all the ingredients above in a pot and over a medium heat, allow to break down. Mix coarsely with a spoon, or mash with a potato masher. If you feel it needs more water, add in two tablespoons at a time. Add the sugar to taste, adding in more if you like it sweeter.
Decant into a prepared, clean jar and allow to cool before storing in the fridge.

Almond and Apple Spiced Loaf

125g light brown sugar
80g caster sugar
2 eggs
250g self raising flour
125g ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
125ml vegetable oil
60 ml buttermilk
150g apple sauce
handful of rolled oats for the top

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F or Gas mark 4.
Line a loaf tin with parchment.
Dry mix the flour, almonds and spices in a bowl.
Add the sugar and eggs to a bowl and mix together.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Ad the oil and buttermilk and mix again.
Fold through the apple sauce.
Scoop out into your prepared tin and sprinkle the rolled oats on top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top has cracked and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear.

Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, before removing.

Try some toasted with real butter smeared on top. This is a great loaf for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, mid afternoon snack, pre-dinner snack, after dinner snack, sitting down having a cup of tea when the kids have gone to bed and you're catching up on the soaps treat. It's basically an all rounder. eat it when you'd like to. And sure look, it's got apples in it, so technically it's super healthy*!

*not actual nutritional advice. Just to be clear on that.


  1. That looks like just the kind of cake I want to be baking right now. I know what you mean though - sometimes it's about the baking, rather than the cake. If I feel anxious or depressed some baking can really sort me out - it's being surrounded by all those smells and flavours and the warmth, and just following the simple steps in a much loved recipe. x

    1. Thanks Gillian! I think baking as been to my go too for years when I am feeling glum or just a little anxious. I just haven't noticed how much of an effect it had on my mood until late.. It's more than just the cakes for me. It's the process! Hazel x


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