It’s time we enjoyed another Sophie Hansen recipe, don’t you think? The apple and blackberry cake was divine, but I think this snacking cake will be even more of a hit. A snacking cake! It just sounds like something we need to make immediately, doesn’t it?
In her book Around the Kitchen Table (created with her mother artist Annie Herron), Sophie describes a snacking cake as a “a lovely slab that sits in the cake tin for a few days, just waiting to be cut and eaten with a cup of tea”. Which sounds lovely, but I don’t think this snacking cake is going to last longer than a single day at my place. My kids (and husband) are cake fiends!
Notice that I didn’t mention myself in the cake fiend category? I am remarkably calm around cake. One piece every now and then is enough. I don’t crave it like chocolate. Nor do I don’t smash through it like ice cream or pudding.
Mind you, I can definitely get on board for a snacking cake. I love having something baked and tucked away for when guests pop in. I can already see my youngest sidling up to me to say, “So and so is here, Mum. Can we get out the snacking cake?”
From Around the Kitchen Table by Sophie Hansen and Annie Herron
I love the idea of a snacking cake – a lovely slab that sits in the cake tin for a few days, just waiting to be cut and eaten with a cup of tea. It’s not fussy, just plain yet delicious, and a good vehicle for any kind of fruit, preserved or fresh. If that sounds good to you, then this is your cake! The quantities I’ve given do make quite a large cake, so if you think your household might snack less than mine, please go ahead and halve them.
Takes 20 mins
Bakes 45 mins
320 g (11¼ oz) unsalted butter, softened
2¾ cups (420 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tsp baking powder
A good pinch of salt
½ cup (130 g) Greek-style yoghurt
½ cup (50 g) flaked natural almonds
¼ cup (45 g) brown sugar
4–5 apples, pears or a similar quantity of preserved fruit, halved and sliced
2 Tbsp white (granulated) sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease and line a 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inch) cake tin with baking paper.
Combine the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low until the mixture just comes together. Add the yoghurt and eggs and beat on low speed for 10 seconds or until the mixture just comes together, then increase the speed and beat for a few minutes until the batter is light and fluffy.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the sliced apples or pears in a bowl with the sugar. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then toss to combine.
Spread about half of the batter in the cake tin in a smooth layer, top with the fruit and then add the remaining batter. Smooth the top and sprinkle it with the flaked almonds and brown sugar. Pop the cake into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the centre is springy to the touch. Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes, then gently turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If the cake is quite fruit-heavy, you could cool and store the cake in the tin as the fruit makes it more fragile and likely to break up as you turn it out.
Note: You can swap the apples with mulberries (see page 135), or any other fresh or preserved fruit. If you’re using preserved fruit, there’s no need to toss it with the sugar and lemon juice – simply spread it over the batter.
Images and text from Around the Kitchen Table by Sophie Hansen and Annie Herron, photography by Sophie Hansen. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.