There's no doubt about the 'sugar high' factor in this one, and it definitely has a strong alcoholic taste with all that cider and bourbon in it. The main taste in the cake itself was definitely the bourbon actually, but I think my favourite thing was the sauce. Reducing down all that cider and sugar from well over a liter down to just 1 cup made it VERY apple-y, and with a kind of sticky caramel feel. I'll definitely be making the pumpkin seed brittle again - it was quite fun watching them jumping all over the place as they toasted, and the final article went down very well with the visitors as we watched the rugby last night.
Apple Cider Cake with Cider Sauce and Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Pumpkin Seeed Brittle
1/3 cup sugar
2tbsp light corn syrup
heaped 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Pinch baking soda dissolved in 1tsp water
Line a baking sheet with well buttered paper. Combine sugar, syrup and water, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Boil undisturbed until a deep caramel colour develops. Remove from the heat and add the seeds and baking soda. Quickly mix to combine, spread to a thin layer on the baking sheet, and leave until cold and hard.
4 cups cider
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2tbsp cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla pod, split and scraped
1 cup double cream
Place cider, bourbon, sugar, golden syrup, vinegar, cinnamon and vanilla in a wide shallow pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the double cream then boil over a medium high heat until reduced to about 1 cup.
Cider and apple cake
1 3/4 cups and 1tbsp plain flour
1tsp each salt
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup and 2tsp cider
3tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup bourbon
7tbsp softened unsalted butter
seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
2 large eggs
2 sharp apples such as Cox
Preheat oven to 180C. Butter and flour a base lined 9 inch tin. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda. In a separate bowl combine cider, vegetable oil and bourbon. In a large bowl beat the butter until fluffy, then beat in the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, then beat in the other dry ingredients and liquid alternately a little at a time.
Spread 2/3 of the mixture in the tin, drizzle 1/2 cup cider sauce over it, and then spread over the rest of the cake mixture carefully. Peel apples and cut into segments. Score the segments and lay cut side down on the top of the cake. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes.
Serve warm, with the rest of the re-warmed sauce and shards of pumpkin seed brittle.