This month's we should cocoa is hosted by Chele from Chocolate Teapot and she chose apples as the special ingredient. I have been baking quite a lot with apples recently as it's in season but I have never baked them with chocolate so this truly was a challenge for me. It took a while before the idea fully formed in my head. I leafed through some of my cookbooks to get inspiration and came across this nutty apple loaf from the hummingbird bakery cookbook which has chocolate in it. Excellent! I then thought maybe I could make it in my new bundt pan which I have been dying to use. I am so glad that it turned out well and looks really pretty.
As it's a small tin, I got to make some mini loaves as well. The cake itself was moist due to the apples and the nuts gave it a lovely crunch and texture. The chocolate complemented the flavours but did not overpower. I am definitely making this recipe again and again.
In case you didn't know, tomorrow November 15th is National Bundt Day. Mary from The Food librarian makes 30 bundt cakes in the month leading up to tomorrow. She has an impressive collection of bundt pans and a vast collection of bundt cake recipes some of which I have tried with good results. I am adding this recipe to her round up for 2011.
Recipe from the hummingbird bakery cookbook
175g unsalted butter
140g soft light brown sugar
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
140g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g shelled mixed nuts, chopped
50g dark chocolate, chopped
2 eating apples, cored and roughly chopped
- Put the butter, sugar and strawberry jam in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and cream until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl and then beat into the butter mixture.
- Stir the nuts, chocolate and apples into the mixture by hand.
- Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 170C.
- Pour the mixture into a bundt pan (or loaf tin) and bake for about 45-50 minutes. (My small bundt pan only required about 35 minutes to cook)
- A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean and the sponge should feel firm to touch.
- Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar if required.