This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
When I read a Christmassy book I'm always hoping for lots of mentions of food. Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews does not disappoint.
It is the heartwarming tale of Cassie and the journey she goes on after setting up her own business. Earlier in the year, she was made redundant and had not been able to find a job. It is now a few months before Christmas, a time Cassie normally throws herself into, but thanks to her lack of job, there is no money. Thus, Christmas this year will be a muted affair for herself and boyfriend, Jim. But then it hits her whilst watching the daytime Christmas adverts. A fantastically fabulous idea. With her organisational skills, why couldn't she organise other people's Christmasses? Time poor but cash-rich people. It is a fantastic idea and after running it past Jim, she starts immediately.
One particular Christmas job takes her all the way to Lapland where Cassie, her client Carter plus his two children, indulge in Swedish meatballs and potatoes followed by apple cake and cream.
I adore apple cake so was delighted when I read the menu put together by the Lapland chef! Apple cake is perfect to make now with the last of the autumn apples. If you have any apples, cooking or eating, which may have gone a bit rubbery on the skin, then use them up in this. It is easy, no fuss, and extremely delicious. Slightly chewy on the outside and moist and apple-y on the inside, with a healthy dollop of vanilla flavouring, it smells like apple and custard when you cut it open. Just heaven.
Perfect for keeping your energy levels up as the countdown to Christmas begins too!
You will need a greased, deep, 20cm cake tin.
225g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder/essence (alternatively you could also add cinnamon)
2 large eggs
150g butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cooking or eating apples
1 tbsp brown or white sugar (optional in case apples are a bit tart)
- Pre-heat oven to 160 or 140 fan.
- Peel and chop apples and put into jug of water with lemon juice or salt added to prevent them going brown
- Place flour, baking powder, caster sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Add melted butter then the eggs and mix thoroughly.
- Place half the mixture into the greased tin.
- Drain the apples and shake off all excess water, then place on top of the batter.
- Sprinkle over tablespoon of sugar if using.
- Add the rest of the mixture on top of that, spreading gently (it will spread more in the oven).
- Bake for one hour and ten minutes (or thereabouts.)
- The apples may make the cake seem uncooked in the middle, but if it is coming away from the side of the tin and springs back when pressed, then it is done.
- Leave in the tin to cool then tip out and serve.