This month sees the start of The Pink Whisk Challenge, each month bakers will be given a different seasonal ingredient to use as they see fit. October’s challenge is sponsored by Pink Lady Apples, rather unsurprising the ingredient is apples. There’s a juicer, a tote bag, some homemade lemon curd & a Pink Whisk apron up for grabs. If you are based in the UK & fancy entering, all the details can be found here. I’m in the middle of a bout of clean living, they happen from time to time, I seem to have some inbuilt brain washing which encourages me to believe that a juicer will be my savior in these moments. So I thought I would try & win one, before I end up buying the cheapest available on amazon, despairing at how much fruit goes in & how little comes out, then giving it to nearest charity shop whilst swearing never to juice again. It’s happened before, twice. For me Victoria Sponge is synonymous with British summertime, this cake is the autumnal equivalent. The sponge is moist with an aromatic mix of warming spices & the crunch of pecans. The sharpness of the blackberry compote dissects the richness of the cream perfectly. This is the kind of cake that there is no way to eat daintily, try as you might.
Makes a 8 inch cake
220g Golden caster sugar
1 Pink lady apple, peeled & coarsely grated
50g Pecans, roughly chopped
220g Plain flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Mixed spice
300ml Double cream
2x 8 inch (20cm) Sandwich tins, buttered & lined
Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C (350˚F or gas mark 4)
Begin by beating the butter & sugar until the mix becomes light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, to avoid the mix curdling beating well before adding the next. Fold in the grated apple & pecans. Sift the flour, baking powder & spices together lifting the sieve high to add air to mix, gently fold into the other ingredients using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture between the tins & level with a spatula. Bake for 25 mins in the preheated oven. Do not open the oven door under any circumstances before the time is complete, as this will cause the cake to sink. Once the 25 mins are up test the cake with a wooden or metal skewer, if it comes away clean then the cake is cooked. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 mins before turning out on to a wire rack & leaving to cool completely.
Wash the blackberries then place them in small pan over a moderate heat. Stir occasionally until they explode & the consistency loosely resembles jam with some lumps of berry still intact. Remove from the heat & allow to cool.
Spoon the blackberry compote over the bottom cake. Beat the double cream until it forms soft peaks. Pour lovingly over the top & smooth right to the edges before topping with the remaining cake. Dust the top with a golden caster sugar, slice & serve.