Wednesday 21 August 2013

Trees, woods and stones

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from the masters. - Bernard of Clairvaux
I wanted to learn about where I live today. I found out many things, see above.
Apples and blackberries are amongst the wild treasures of this place. I learnt a High Wycombe Cake, my first.
125g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
125g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
50g ground almonds
100g self raising flour
3 apples
100g blackberries
For the topping:
1 pinch cinnamon
2 tbsp Demerara sugar
25g butter in slices
25g peeled and toasted hazelnuts
Icing sugar for dusting
Heat the oven to 160c. Butter a 22cm round, loose bottom, cake tin.
Beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs ensuring the mixture does not curdle. Sieve the flour onto the top of the mixture, add the almonds on top. Gradually fold in, keeping the mixture light.
Peel and slice the apples, add them to a dry pan with a little sugar and a splash of water. Soften ever do slightly. Allow to cool. Add two thirds of the apples and the blackberries to the mixture. Turn the mixture into the tin. Arrange the remaining apples on top.
For the topping sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the surface of the mixture. Add small slices of butter.
Bake for 55 mins, of until a sharp knife comes out clean.
Gently toast your hazelnuts in a dry pan. Allow to cool. Add hazelnuts to the top of the cake. When all is cool, dust with icing sugar.