I love how autumn is just an excuse to overeat apples and pumpkin in more forms than they could have ever imagined 100 years ago. I swear, every year there are more and more recipes for apple and pumpkin pies, caramel apples, pumpkin risottos... variation after variation.
If you follow my Twitter feed, you will have seen that a couple of weeks ago (was it that long ago?!) the Mr. brought home some cooking apples from his colleague's mum's garden. Apparently there was an abundance of them this year and they really needed to go. I was starting to get fed up of them taking up valuable space in my kitchen so I cooked them off and now I have a pot of soft, beautifully fragrant apples to be used in cakes, pastries and, dare I say, pies.
So I put them to good use. We haven't had loaf cake in the house for a while so I decided it was high time that changed! Now I must have boiled down 12 large apples and I still have a good bit left so don't feel like you have to mush down that many just for this one cake.
12 cooking apples, peeled, quartered and cored
2 kettles' worth of boiling water
3 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup caster sugar
Bring everything to the boil and let it simmer gently with the lid on for 10 minutes until soft. Scoop out the apples and mash them together. Try not to get any liquid in the mix. Scoop out 2 of the cinnamon sticks and simmer the liquid uncovered until it's reduced by half. Now you have a nice syrup for ice cream sauce or mulled wine.
Anyway so one of the things I wanted to make with all of these apples was a loaf cake. But not just any old loaf cake. No no no no no... I wanted to put Chai spice in it. Like the stuff you order in coffee shops and you can now buy in supermarkets *cough* Sainsburys *cough*. And, with a jar of it, you can make your very own chai latte at home.
Apple and Chai Spiced Loaf
1 cup caster sugar
4 tbsp softened butter
3/4 cup apple puree
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp powdered chai spice
30g icing sugar
1 tbsp, heaped, natural yoghurt
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C. Whisk together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy then add the egg and beat together until combined. Add the apple puree and sift over the dry ingredients. Fold everything together until it's well combined.
Grease a loaf tin well and line with baking paper or dust flour over the grease (this will give a crispier crust). Pour the batter into the tin and level it out with a spatula. Put in the oven for 55 minutes. Check it after 40 minutes and if it's starting to get too dark on top, cover lightly with some tin foil.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully lift it out and continue to cool on a wire rack.
Mix the yoghurt and icing sugar together until it's well combined. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the yoghurt in messy lines over the top.