Apple Rye Cake – “Short and Sweet” Challenge

This one’s going to be tricky. Golden syrup and rich, dark sugar. Only time will tell if my substitutions render this recipe inedible.  A brief email to the helpful people at the Groovy Food Company confirmed that their agave nectar (lower GI than golden syrup) is a suitable substitute for golden syrup, although they suggested that I reduce the quantity by 10-20% because agave is sweeter than sugar. I suspect that the agave will work just fine in this recipe because the butter, sugar and golden syrup are melted and then added to the flour and spiced apple mixture.

11:00am – Chopping apples, home-grown. I needed three rather than the suggested one in the recipe. Just goes to show that organic apples are smaller than those we buy in the supermarket. I saved the cores and peel for another batch of apple cider vinegar. My Mother-of-Vinegar has been happily sipping cheap Co-op own-brand cider, waiting for something more substantial to waltz about in. The recipe needed 2-1/2 apples, so Molly (the Springer Spaniel) was treated to the remaining half apple, minus peel and core and pips and stem.

11:10am – I wish someone would invent non-stick baking paper that sticks to a baking pan. One side slippy and the other side sticky so the paper stays put in the pan rather than wafting out of the pan every time Molly wags her tail and creates a breeze.

11:12am – Flipping darned baking paper ….

11:15am – Aaaaah, maaaaaan …. Åh for helvede … (cooking tip#1: Learn to curse in a foreign language)

11:17am – Maybe a bit of butter will hold the paper in place. (cooking tip#2: A dap of butter sticks baking paper to the pan)

11:18am – Voilà. A parchment paper lined pan. “Molly stop wagging your tail!”

11:20am – Melted the butter into the agave syrup, and added “Half Spoon” sugar. Added the milk, and then tempered the whisked egg with some of the heated butter mixture rather than pouring it all together and risk the eggs curdling. Slightly surprised that Dan didn’t mention tempering the eggs.

11:25am – Stir, stir, and fold. Taste. Yum. Taste. Oh, yes, yum. “No, Molly, you may not lick the spoon. Go play outside in the sunshine. Surely a dog needs vitamin D, too.”

11:30am – Into the preheated oven. I sure wish this old oven would blow up. I want a new one. I think I’ll revise my wish list to Santa.

Dear Santa,
For Christmas I want you to blow up my oven.
Sincerely, and Ho-ho-ho,
Misky xx

12:10pm – 40-minutes isn’t long enough. I’ll give it another 10 and then skewer it again.

12:20pm – Hmmmm. Let’s try another 5-minutes. I’ll cover the top with a bit of foil as it’s golden brown, just how I’d like to see it. Don’t want to risk it all at this point.

12:25pm – That should do it. Total baking time: 55-minutes.

15:30pm – Cool. The cake, that is, and …. Oh! I say! Yum. The extra 5-minutes probably wasn’t needed but it didn’t do it any harm either: 50-minutes should be fine next time.

This is a very easy, delicious loaf cake that any beginner baker can make with confidence. I’m a beginner, so I speak from experience. Will I bake this cake again? You betcha!

To join the Short and Sweet challenge next week: The Short and Sweet December Challenge Schedule

Dan Lepard’s “Short and Sweet” Cookery Book at Amazon: “Short and Sweet”

P.S.  –  The agave nectar and the “Half Spoon” sugar sweetener had no ill effects on my husband’s blood glucose levels. He also said that the cake was really delicious, so there’s no doubt that I will make this one again for us.



30 Comments Add yours

  1. dianadomino says:

    This looks delicious!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      It tastes delicious, too! 😉

  2. Lou says:

    Oh that top photo is just gorgeous! Beautiful lighting.
    I loved this cake. Going to do my post soon. Wish I had better photos to do it some justice. Can I just steal your one? 😉

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      My kitchen window faces southwest, so in the late afternoon, assuming there’s sun, the light dapples through the bare tree branches for a nice visual effect. There’s sure no sun today though! I think you have it worse up north than we do down here in the SE.

  3. Joanna says:

    As long as you don’t curse in Danish into your handbag I don’t mind what language you use. Always highly amused at how they translate the swearing on the Killing into English. I love this cake and I think your photo is glorious! Great that you can do it with the agave too 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      P still hasn’t tasted it. He was at a Christmas party last night and came home late. Don’t know how his blood sugar levels will react. I’m hoping that the rye flour will help level things out.

  4. heidi says:

    This really looks good! I like to use agave syrup- didn’t realize I could use it instead of golden syrup, which I cannot find in America. I had been substituting corn syrup and that was not making me happy!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Certainly in this instance, agave worked perfectly because it was heated and melted with the butter and “Half Spoon” sugar (sweetener). It’s a bit more fluid than golden syrup, and corn syrup is just such a no-no in our house. From what I understand though, agave can effect cholesterol (triglyceride) numbers, so if you’re on statins you might want to look into that.

  5. This looks very pretty and reminds me that I forgot to sprinkle anything over the almonds on top of the cake.

    I have no skill in using parchment paper to line a tin and typically end up doing odd folds in non-stick (hah) fabric sheets that don’t completely cover the tin but allow me to haul the cake out (albeit it leaves some odd imprints in the cake). My fabric kept slipping so I shall bear in mind your ‘stick it with butter’ tip.

    Likewise, I ended up cooking this cake for much longer than stated and had to cover it with more non-stick fabric when it was darkening too much.

    Best Beloved liked the cake a lot but because it was such a late return home last night it was too late to give it away to neighbours so that had to wait until this evening (the cake was hidden out of eye-line).

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’m intrigued by this “fabric” that you use rather than parchment paper. What is it?

      1. It looks like this reusable non-stick liner – albeit I purchase mine in sheets from the Pound Shop 🙂

        1. Misk Cooks says:

          Ah. I’ve seen these sheets at the supermarket. Maybe I should try one!

  6. ceciliag says:

    i shall get my boys to do a drive by and blow up your oven, they are good at blowing up stuff, though best you leave a note with arrows!! c

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I refuse to replace this old beater of an oven until it quits working good and proper. The temperature is slightly askew, it won’t hold steady, heat escapes through the door … The list goes on and on. But facts being facts, it still bakes a loaf of bread okay, a cake okay, and meat okay. In other words, it does all it’s supposed to do.

  7. It’s always a bit scary substituting but how else do we learn;) Good for you, I haven’t baked with agave yet and now I think I should give it a go. I love your dog… and thank you for the parchment paper tip as well.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’m looking forward to using agave in other things now!

  8. Lovely cake! Definitely my kind of afternoon treat! Always refreshing to read about special diet recipes… it’s not often that people talk about GI levels in their post! 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      This cake improves day by day, flavours growing richer. It’s also nice with a dollop of lightly sweetened cream.

  9. The 1st image looks delicious!! Seems like your cake turned out really well. For me, it would be a perfect tea time snack. I love your garnish too. The recipe seems pretty doable too. Good work there!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thanks! Very doable, and very easy. Give it a try and let me know how you get on. 🙂

  10. This is just beautiful. I love your break down too.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thank you so very much. I’ve very pleased to see that you stopped by for a read. 😀

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your account of baking this delicious cake. A definite must make – super for the festive season with a cuppa.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thank you, Mandy. 🙂 I might use this cake as a Christmas pud this year. Maybe shoot a bit of sherry into it to make it special.

  12. Great subs, Misk! I used to have agave, must buy some more. Glad to know it was fine on your hubby’s sugar levels! 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Hi Celia! Thank you! 🙂 Agave is becoming quite expensive here in the UK now, and I suspect that people are catching on to the idea of a low-GI sweetener that’s natural rather than chemical.

  13. peasepudding says:

    I have never used agave, it sounds like it worked well in the cake which looks beautiful and golden brown. Good luck with your oven Christmas wish :o)

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thank you, and welcome! We also use agave swirled around on oatmeal. Really lovely and cosy and a nice way to start the morning.

  14. C says:

    Looks fabulous. I really liked this loaf, it’s delicious isn’t it. I think it must be a pretty robust recipe too – it took your substitutions well, and it coped with my substituting the nuts out of it. A great keeper recipe, really glad to hear you liked it.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’ll be absolutely making this one again. Great cake and an easy recipe.

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