I don't like this naked cake trend. I don't like cooked fruit. I don't like curd.
So why the hell have I made a naked apple & lime cake with an apple curd filling? Good question.
Turns out, naked cakes have their place. Like, not at a wedding! But a naked cake has a certain rustic home-made charm about it.
And while I don't think I'll ever like apple pie in all its sweetness, apple in a cake is actually darned tasty.
As for the curd... well, since making apple curd, I've discovered that it's just lemon curd that I can't stand.
I actually had a bit of fun coming up with this cake. Seeing as I'm not much of a curd connoisseur I thought I'd rope my workmates into doing some blind taste testing for me, you know, make them work for their treats. (It wasn't that hard talking them into it!)
I made three types of apple curd. 1) Plain Apple 2) Apple & Lime 3) Apple & Vanilla
I set them out and asked each person tasting to let me know which was the most appley (yeah, that's a word) and then which was their favourite.
By my own taste testing, I thought the plain apple had the strongest apple flavour, but my favourite was with the vanilla. As for my tasters, the winner in both categories was actually the apple & lime curd. Most said that the lime added or enhanced the apple flavour somehow, it had a tang to it that was more apple-like than the other curds which were on the sweeter side.
So there you go, votes were in, the apple & lime curd won by a majority. (Not to dismiss the other two, I still have plans for those...)
Truthfully, I had actually toyed with just going with the plain apple curd anyway, but then the lime in this cake would only feature in the frosting and I already knew the apple sponge was loaded with enough apple and wouldn't need too much assistance from the filling in helping the fruity flavour. So, it was back to putting everyone's favourite curd as the filling instead.
Talking about the frosting, cream cheese frosting is definitely one of my favourites, and boy oh boy does it taste BAD ASS good with lime!
I totally underutilise lime. I love lemon in savoury food, not a fan of it in sweet, but for me, lime is great in either, but somehow I always forget how good it is. I've always, always got lemons in the house, but very rarely limes. I need to change that!
Anyway, back to the frosting, you don't have to take my word for it, try it for yourself. Would be great on coconut cake or even something with raspberries or ginger.
The combination of the apple with lime is just so good. The lime is bright and fresh which really complements the apple. Even though this cake is dense because of all the fruit (a good thing, the apple keeps the cake from drying out), it's not at all heavy, neither is it overly sweet like those awful apple pies. (Don't hate me!)
The apple curd filling, I must admit, was a genius addition instead of just using more frosting, so says me. It is buttery, custardy (add a "y" to anything, it's a word) and it's just so tasty, also makes the cake a little more interesting and impresses any recipient, even though it's stupid easy to make.
And just because the cake is of the naked variety doesn't mean I've skimped on the frosting, there's a generous smearing over the top for you fellow frosting fiends. Good, creamy, tangy, limey cream cheese frosting.
Actually, this cake tastes better on the second or third day, I wouldn't even bother having a slice on day one. Well, I would, but I'd enjoy day two's slice even more. It stays super moist and the flavours keep getting better.
Apple Lime Cake
Serves 9 - 12
|Apple & Lime Curd Ingredients|
|150g||5oz||Apple Flesh (about 1 medium Bramley or similar cooking apple)|
|50ml||2fl oz||Water or Apple Juice|
|Zest & Juice ½ Lime|
|60g||2oz||Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes|
- Bring apple & water or apple juice to a simmer in a medium sized saucepan
- Cook over low heat with the lid on until apple has softened and breaks apart
- Remove the lid and cook on low for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally, until purée has lost most of its moisture
- Remove from heat and press through a sieve into a heatproof bowl
- While still warm, stir in lime juice, zest, sugar and butter, then leave to cool for about 10mins
- Whisk in the egg and place bowl over a pot of simmering water
- Stir occasionally and cook until curd is "pudding thick", about 20 mins. It should reach about 50ºC on a thermometer
- Remove from heat, cover the top with clingfilm and leave to cool for about 30mins before refrigerating and leaving to cool completely
|Apple Cake Ingredients|
|1 tsp||1 tsp||Baking Soda|
|1 tsp||1 tsp||Baking Powder|
|½ tsp||½ tsp||Salt|
|115g||4oz||Unsalted Butter, room temp|
|190g||7oz||Golden Granulated Sugar|
|1 tsp||1 tsp||Vanilla Extract|
|500ml||17½fl oz||Apple Sauce|
|2 med||2 med||Bramley Apples, diced|
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan Assisted) and line two 9" springform cake tins with parchment paper
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and well creamed
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed
- Add one third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined
- Beat in half the apple sauce until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl
- Beat in half the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining apple sauce
- Fold in the last of the flour and mix until just combined
- Fold in the diced apple
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins, smooth the top with a spatula
- Bake cakes for 30-40mins, until centre of the cake springs back when lightly pressed, or a toothpick doesn't come out with any uncooked batter on it
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on wire rack for 15-20mins
- Release springform tin sides and leave cakes to cool completely before removing parchment paper and assembling cake
|Lime Cream Cheese Frosting|
|225g||8oz||Full Fat Cream Cheese, chilled|
|55g||2oz||Unsalted Butter, softened|
|125g||4½oz||Icing Sugar, sifted|
|Zest from 1 Lime|
|Juice from ½ Lime|
|¼ tsp||¼ tsp||Salt|
- Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth
- Add the icing sugar, lime juice, zest and salt, beat on low until combined, then increase speed to highest and beat until frosting is thick and a firm spreading consistency
To Assemble the Cake
- Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and spread with the chilled curd
- Place the second cake layer on top
- Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly on top and finish off with lime zest
Keep cake refrigerated in an airtight container
Will keep well for 3-4 days