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Sad partings and spiced apple cake

June 22, 2011
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Spiced apple cakeMy friend A has given me many things.  She’s brought Vino cotto (grape must which is fab in salad dressing) from South Africa, goose fat from England (for roast potatoes) and even donated a beautiful sofa bed she no longer needed.  She’s also given me many happy times, laughter and so much kindness.  This week she arrived bearing many gifts including the contents of her spice cupboard, a lot of gin and this beautiful cake tin…

sunflower cake tin

…and some sad news.

Being an expatriate has the advantage that you meet people from all around the world and make really good friends (especially with family far away).  The down side is that you say your fair share of farewells.  The reason for this foodie haul is that A and her family are leaving for South Africa.  We haven’t seen that much of each other in the past year as our daughters are now at different schools but knowing that she is 15 minutes drive away is different to Johannesburg.

I had some egg yolks left over from making this for when A came round…


…so there was only one thing to do to console the sad, achey feeling – make a warm, comforting cake.  This spiced, apple cake borrowed from Joy the Baker seemed to fit my mood.  I’ve changed the ingredients list to weighed measurements (you know my dislike of volume in baking) but if cups are your thing pop over to Joy for this and how to make it.  You could also use a bit of wholemeal flour but I would add at least another apple to keep the moistness.

Thank you my lovely friend, I’m eating a slice of this cake, drinking a cup of tea and wishing you all the best for your new life.  Au revoir.

Spiced apple cake

Thinking of apples I was reminded of a beautiful song that my daughter learned:

I’ll give my love an apple without a core,
I’ll give my love a house without a door,
I’ll give my love a palace wherein she may be,
And she may unlock it without any key.
My head is the apple without a core,
My mind is the house without a door,
My heart is the palace wherein she may be,
And she may unlock it without any key.

I’m sharing this post with Nina’s Kitchen – an exuberant blogger in South Africa –  for her ‘Apple Affection‘ Monthly Mingle (brainchild of lovely Meeta from What’s for Lunch, Honey?)  I’ll pop a link to her apple recipe round up at the beginning of July.

P.S. Hazel, who likes apple cores a lot, was clearly very interested in apple cake too!

Hazel waiting for cake

Spiced apple cake – recipe converted from Joy the Baker

Sauted apples
3-4 tart apples about 500g
20g butter
35g caster sugar
135g butter, softened
200g light brown sugar
4 egg yolks (at room temperature)
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
135 ml sour cream
55g golden granulated sugar

For the method pop over to Joy. This is great served on its own or with a dollop of calvados cream (creme fraiche sweetened with some seived icing sugar and a dash of calvados or apple brandy).

Note: If you have a similar sunflower tin, this amount of cake mixture wasn’t quite enough to fill it.  I would make half again in quantity and be generous with the apple.

  1. June 22, 2011 7:41 am

    So sad to have friends leaving. Even when it’s somebody else’s friend. Farewell A

  2. June 22, 2011 7:53 am

    I know exactly what you mean. I am going to say goodbye to a friend later this morning who is leaving Dubai for good in a couple of days. Farewell and all the best to all those who grew close to our hearts. I never give up hope that one will see each other again. My only way to cope with it.

  3. June 22, 2011 9:10 am

    It’s tough, but on the upside, it does mean you have lifelong friends in every corner of our planet to go and visit!

  4. June 22, 2011 9:15 am

    Dubai is a transient city, and you never quite get used to people leaving. The song lyrics brought a little tear to my eye, I will noting that one down in my book of quotes. Also, gorgeous pavloval and apple cake.

  5. June 22, 2011 9:35 am

    Really sad that your friend left.

    Apple Spiced Cake. Mmm. It looks soo delicious.

  6. June 22, 2011 9:44 am

    that cake tin is beautiful! So sad when friends leave. Wishing you a wonderful day 🙂

  7. June 22, 2011 10:04 am

    Please tell A to contact me if she needs anything when she gets to Johannesburg, it can be a snobbish and cliquey city to settle into. Thanks for the reminder about Monthly Mingle, I’d quite forgotten. Love Hazel’s face 🙂

    • June 22, 2011 11:25 am

      That’s very kind Cindy – will do. Yes Hazel sat at the end of the table like she was waiting for it – It made me laugh out loud.

  8. June 22, 2011 10:40 am

    Imagine being an expat here your whole life; definitely had way too many farewells. I can relate wholeheartedly. Wish your friend all the best.
    This cake looks mouthwatering-ly gorgeous!

  9. June 22, 2011 10:50 am

    I know what you mean. Saying good byes is always hard! The cake looks fabulous and so does that cake tin!

  10. June 22, 2011 10:54 am

    I love apple and spices so this really calls out to me. That cake form is exceptional and really make the cake look elegant. Thanks for joining the Monthly Mingle Sally!

  11. June 22, 2011 12:16 pm

    These photos are incredible, especially that first one, such a picture perfect (and I’m sure drop-dead delicious) cake!

    New York was sort of the same way for me…friends come and go in such cities…but the ones that are the closest to heart will continue to weave themselves back into your life, no matter where in the world they may be.

  12. June 22, 2011 12:30 pm

    How sad that your friend is leaving – I too am heading back home to South Africa next week – Sundays River in the Eastern Cape though. How wonderful that you will have your treasured friendship to always hold onto. 😉 The cake tin is so pretty! I hope Hazel got just a little bite of cake.
    🙂 Mandy

  13. June 22, 2011 3:06 pm

    I’m with you on the comfort food this week. So sorry your friend has to leave. Your cake looks beautiful and at least she will always be able to read your beautiful blog from wherever she is in the world 🙂

  14. June 22, 2011 3:40 pm

    Sorry your friend has to go 😦 I’m definitely used to it…well, I’m usually the one leaving, but still…It just means having more friends scattered across different places 🙂
    That apple cake looks incredible–love Joy the Baker too!

  15. June 22, 2011 4:27 pm

    beautiful cake. I make the same with joy’s recipe but its never this dark. I love your tin! 🙂

  16. June 22, 2011 5:03 pm

    well the best part abt technology is that ur never really away! i am sure u’ll find a way to bridge the distance sally 🙂 friends will always be cherished no matter where in the world they are!

  17. June 22, 2011 9:55 pm

    living in NYC and dating a hotelier meant a lot of farewell parties for us….they never get any easier.

    the monthly mingle looks like fun – can anyone join in?

  18. June 23, 2011 1:16 am

    The spice cake is gorgeous. And the pavlova is lovely too! Good friends are the spice of life, right? Even when they are far away.

  19. Sherri Voebel permalink
    June 23, 2011 1:21 am

    Yesterday, I was given some lovely pears. They are ripe and ready for eating, but may not last much longer! Do you think this recipe would also work with pears?

    • June 23, 2011 8:37 am

      Yes sherri I do – perhaps change the balance of the spices a little…either use all mixed spice or lessen the cloves and up the nutmeg. I would saute the pears for a shorter time too (depending on how ripe they are) to keep a good texture. I would use a higher quantity of pear too – at least 750g worth. Let me know how you get on.

  20. June 23, 2011 11:48 pm

    Oh parting is such sweet sorrow. Being an expat who’s on the verge of moving, I know exactly what you mean. Sigh….I’m looking forward to receiving some cakes soon. I am partial to a good apple bake so well done Sally

  21. June 25, 2011 8:04 pm

    You had me at the first photo, it’s stunning. I will surely make this in the fall when I will have apples coming out of my ears!

  22. January 15, 2013 3:56 pm

    I love apple cake and this one sounds very good! Beautyful pictures!


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