Small Apple Cakes with Pine Nuts

These scrumptious little apple cakes are deceptively easy to make and continue to improve over a couple of days (if they last that long). I discovered how to make them during my dream vacation last year, at cooking schools in Tuscany. They are wonderful served warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream (see my recipe), or just as they are with a cup of tea. The fresh apple chunks keep these cakes nice and moist and they have just the right amount of sweetness. It’s a great recipe and one I have used many times for desserts or taking along to a party.

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INGREDIENTS

2 eating apples
2 eggs
130g superfine (caster) sugar, plus extra for pan preparation (see method)
80g butter, softened
200g flour
6g baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Grated zest from 1 Lemon
50g Pine Nuts
Icing Sugar to serve

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METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, 350 F or gas mark 4. You’ll need a 12 cup non-stick muffin pan: brush each cup with melted butter and sprinkle with superfine sugar to coat each cup.

1) Peel the apples and dice into 1/4 inch cubes.
2) Sieve the flour and baking powder and set aside.
3) Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a large mixing bowl, until pale yellow and frothy.
4) Add the softened butter, sifted flour and baking powder, pinch of salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined, then gently fold in the chopped apple. You should have a fairly stiff batter.
5) Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pans, an ice cream scoop makes this an easy task. Decorate each cake with some pine nuts.
6) Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes until risen and top springs back when touched.
7) Turn out the cakes onto a cooling rack, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm.

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