I promised the Vikings my recipe for spiced apple cake - the one we had for breakfast, with clotted cream, last Sunday. So here it is:
225g softened butter
225g light muscovado sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon (there is cinnamon in the mixed spice, but I like a little extra)
3 large eggs
3 large apples (I like to use Bramley), peeled, cored and roughly chopped - I like quite big pieces, but this is to your own taste.
a large glug or two of cider or calvados
A few hours before you want to bake the cake (or better still, the night before) soak the sultanas in cider or calvados. If you don't have much time, warm them in a pan or in the microwave a little as it helps the sultanas absorb the alcohol.
When you are ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180C (perhaps a little lower for a fan oven). Grease and line a 23cm diameter deep round tin, or equivalent square or loaf tin.
Mix butter, sugar, baking powder, spices and eggs in a large bowl. I usually use an electric hand-held mixer, but a wooden spoon does just as well. When well mixed, fold in the apple and sultanas. Tip in to the prepared tin and sprinkle sugar over the top - I think Demerara is nicest as it gives crunch, but cinnamon sugar is good too. Check the cake after 1 1/4 hour, by inserting a skewer - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. When I cook this it usually takes an extra 30 minutes, but I think the thermostat on my oven is a little low, and you don't want to overcook it and make it dry. It is quite a substantial cake and is unlikely to sink when the oven is opened.
Serve either warm or cold - nice with clotted cream or even custard for a dessert.