Thursday, September 03, 2009

Apple Bread With Sugar & Cinnamon Topping

If you’ve been visiting here for a while you would have surely bumped into my best friend K in and around these posts. She popped up first here, during my first year of blogging and her move into a new apartment. Since then, she’s made many appearances. It’s inevitable really. Someone who is as much a part of my life as K will certainly find her way into the stories I tell.

She dropped in to try my first ever attempt at soufflĂ©. She is the mother of my awesome godchild Z. We’ve gone off on adventures together. She knows what I like and brings me lovely gifts. She tastes the stuff I make even if they don’t turn out as good as they should. She tastes the stuff that does turn out good! We try to save the Earth together. She recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and we celebrated with a tea party.

K and I met in high school, and though on the surface we may seem very different (she is a gung-ho athlete who loves the smell of competition and I am a slow moving nap-lover who shies away from organized sports), it was the best friend version of finding your soul mate. Heck, forget versions, it was finding a soul mate! There are friends you bond with over common interests, friends due to some sort of proximity (same school, course, neighbourhood, family), and those serendipitous ones that happen by happy accident. Then there are those that you know are no accident...those who you know you were heading towards from birth and that become such an integral part of your life that you cannot imagine one without the other. That's K.

Some people have masses of friends, hundreds, even thousands if you check here and here. But a true best friend is worth ten million times that in my book. And for her birthday you'll want to try your darnedest to give her something really special – even if it’s just one of your favourite cookbooks and an Apple Bread baked from its pages.

Apple Bread With Sugar & Cinnamon Topping
(from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros, page 350)

  • 150 grams sugar
  • 150 grams butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 400 grams apples (about 2), peeled, cored, and coarsely grated (I didn’t bother peeling them...I just took them to the grater unpeeled and this worked fine...and much quicker)
  • 60 grams walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 60 grams walnuts, finely chopped
  • 60 grams brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- For the topping, mix together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat them in well.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon into the mixture and add a pinch of salt. Mix until just incorporated. If using a mixer I just give this a couple of turns with the paddle and then scrape down with a spatula, mixing the rest of the way by hand.
- Add the apples, walnuts, and vanilla and mix through until just incorporated evenly. I did this with a spatula by hand as well. Scrape into a buttered and floured loaf tin (12x4 inch).
- Sprinkle topping generously over the batter. Bake in a pre-heated 180C oven for 45 minutes or until at cake tester poked in the center of the cake comes out clean. My loaf took about 50 minutes.
- Cool slightly before turning out carefully...the topping will scatter a bit! So do this over your serving plate so you don’t lose any.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature...plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

I have spoken about my love for Tessa Kiros before, and Apples For Jam is even more proof of why I am such a fan. Her enchanting “voice” draws me into her recipes like no amount of chef-cred, fame, or restaurant ownership could. So I wanted to share a bit of this with K on her birthday, along with Tessa’s delicious Apple Bread. This cake is beguilingly moist and laced with the spicy scents of apple and cinnamon – one of the best smells you can have coming out of your oven (if you live in a flat like me, this is a great way to get rid of fried fish smell)! The crunchy sugar-nut topping is the perfect foil to the cakes softness. A scoop of vanilla ice cream will not go amiss here. The only thing I have changed is forgoing the ground cardamom used in the original recipe. I have already made this two times, and both times everybody loved despite its simple looks it is a definite crowd-pleaser.

K’s birthday was two days ago but I wanted to celebrate it here too (and share this lovely recipe with all of you) --- Happy birthday again my friend! :)


squirrelbread said...

A delightful birthday treat! When apples are more in season (and come down in price), I'll be making something very similar to this. Maybe in my bundt pan!



Patsyk said...

How wonderful that you have such a special friend! And, she's lucky to have someone who will make her such a tasty treat for her birthday. Looks hard to resist!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A very autumn-like bread! That combo is always delicious!



Anh said...

Your friend should be so pleased ;)

I am having an important birthday coming up as well. And I am running through my fav cookbooks for inspirations as well. Love this bread of yours!

Marvin said...

I wish I had friends who would want to make dessert for me. You and K are lucky to have each other.

Midge said...

I loved today's post and it made me a little teary-eyed because my own best friend passed on nearly a decade ago at the tender age of 23.

You're so blessed to have a friend like K. :)

(Oh, and I just remembered that you love Nutella; I just posted a recipe for gianduia cupcakes!)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Heather! Thanks for visiting :) I can imagine something like this being nice in a bundt!

Hi Patsyk! I’m lucky too! :)

Hi Rosa! It really is...I love it!

Hi Anh! I love giving (and receiving!) homemade gifts :) Good luck on your important birthday! I’m sure whatever you make will be fabulous like always!

Hi Marvin! We are :) I’m sure a lot of your friends would gladly make you dessert for some of your homemade longanisa...I certainly would!

Oh Midge...I’m so sorry to hear that. Yes, I do feel blessed and am very thankful. Thanks for the heads up on the gianduia cupcakes...will check them out :) Are these to be part of your product list? :)

Divina Pe said...

That's a gorgeous apple bread and of course a special friend. A special friend always warms your heart and so does the apple bread.

Jen Tan said...

Hello joey! That apple bread sure looks delish!!!! ;P A sweet birthday treat to a dear friend indeed =)

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

What a heartwarming post! And that picture is mouthwatering, I'm longing for a slice over here.

Andrew said...

Looks great!!

Andy -

veron said...

Ahhhh! Apples...we're getting them in season soon over here. My first choice for dessert...and with cinnamon, perfect duet!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Divina! Thanks! I agree that a special friend always warms the well as yummy treats! :)

Hi Jen! It really was...I’ll be making this again for sure!

Hi Ari! Thank you :) It’s really a lovely cake!

Thanks Andrew :)

Hi Veron! Truly a perfect pair! Hope you get to enjoy your apples soon! :)

Ana said...

Beautifully written. Who was it who said that friends are the family you choose, or something to that effect?
And the apple bread looks yummy too! :)

OompaWoompaGirl said...

This looks yummy! I think I'll try this in muffin pans! My gather loves anything with sugar and cinnamon topping (usually I do this with banana bread), I'll make a batch of your apple bread (muffins) for him.

Thank you! Oh and btw, thanks to your blog, I've began collecting Donna Hay magazines too :)

Suzana said...

I know so well what you're talking about, Joey. A special friend is something to cheer and to take good care of, and that's a perfect way to do so. Nice apple bread! :)

Did you happen to see that book Tessa Kiros wrote about Portugal? It's such a beautiful book. She really is wonderful.

Mixed Drink Recipes said...

This looks like a terrific fall recipe!

Marta said...

It's great to celebrate people's birthday in the blog, it always gives you the excuse to bake something extra special! this bread seems fitted!

Marta said...

It's great to celebrate people's birthday in the blog, it always gives you the excuse to bake something extra special! this bread seems fitted!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ana! Thank you :) That saying is so true!

Hi OompaWoompaGirl! Mmmm...I’m sure these would also be great as muffins/cupcakes! Hope you’re enjoying your Donna Hay magazines!

Hi Suzana! Those friends are a reason to celebrate indeed :) Is that Piri Piri Starfish? It is gorgeous! Love her books!

Thanks Mixed Drinks :)

Hi Marta! It is :) Especially for extra special people :)

redmenace said...

I look at a lot of blogs, but I'm pretty sure you have my heart now. This bread has everything in it that I love. Thanks!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Redmenace! Glad you enjoyed the post :) I love this bread homey and delicious!

Shalimar said...

Happy Birthday to K... and I already copied the recipe I dont have the book yet, its on my wish list.

Will do this for the crew...

Simply Life said...

Wow, this makes me hungry just looking at it! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sha! Thanks! Hope they like it!

Hi Simply Life! It was very good! :)

Ashley said...

So beautiful. What a lovely gift for a fabulous friendship.

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Ashley :)

The Purple Foodie said...

My oh my, the apple bread looks so good. I was sod just by reading the title "...with sugar and cinnamon topping"

Manggy said...

Aw, you're so sweet Joey! You and K are lucky to have each other. Granted, FB has all my in-real-life friends on it, but the person I consider to be my closest friend, I actually met on the internet :) Kiros' books are beautiful- would be nice to own one, heh heh :)

ChichaJo said...

Hello Purple Foodie! It is really delicious...the soft cake with the crunchy topping is the perfect pairing!

Hi Manggy! We are lucky truly :) I love Tessa Kiros! And I’m happy to report now so does K! :)