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