Somerset Cider Cake with Hazelnut Topping Recipe


Cakes River Cottage HandbookThis moist yet light-textured cake, with its crumbly nutty topping, will be subtly different depending on the type of cider you use. With more than 400 different apple varieties growing throughout the West Country’s ciderlands, there’s plenty of choice, from ‘Slack my Girdle’ to ‘Tremlett’s Bitter’. A sweet cider will blush the cake pink, while a bitter-sharp brew will lend a lightly golden hue. A couple I like to use here are the fruity Somerset Redstreak and the aromatic Kingston Black.

  • Yield: 12 Servings


For the Cake
  • 150 g raisins
  • 250 ml sparkling cider
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 125 g plain wholemeal flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ whole nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 125 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 125 g light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
For the Topping
  • 50 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 75 g soft light brown sugar
  • 25 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 75 g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 20 cm springform cake tin, lightly greased and base-lined with baking parchment
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour over 100 ml of the cider. Leave in a warm place to plump up for a couple of hours or overnight, if you have time.
  2. To make the nutty topping, put the butter into a small pan and warm over a gentle heat until it has just melted. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the topping ingredients. Lightly mix together until well combined. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, sift the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda together into a bowl. Add the grated nutmeg and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter to a cream, using either a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is soft and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the sifted flour with each and beating thoroughly before adding the next.
  5. Sift in half of the remaining flour and use a large metal spoon to carefully fold it in. Add the rest of the cider to the mix and gently stir in (it will foam up enthusiastically). Sift in the remaining flour and lightly fold it in. Finally, incorporate the cider-soaked raisins, together with any liquor.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle the topping over the surface.
  7. Bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. The cake will keep for a week stored in an airtight tin.

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