Sliced apples and spice make this cake a moreish treat, just follow Country Homes & Interiors’ easy recipe
100g slightly salted butter, plus extra to grease 6 star anise, plus extra to decorate 25g caster sugar 225g self-raising flour 1 tsp ground mixed spice 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g medium oatmeal 4 Russet or Cox’s apples 2 tsps lemon juice 150g black treacle, plus extra to drizzle 125g golden syrup 50ml milk 1 medium organic egg, beaten Demerara sugar, to sprinkle
Step 1) Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a shallow baking or small roasting tin, around 28cm by 22cm. Grease the paper. Break the star anise into pieces and whizz in a small food processor or spice grinder with the caster sugar until finely ground. Tip into a bowl and add the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and oatmeal.
Step 2) Peel two of the apples and grate around the core, directly into the dry ingredients. Peel, core and thinly slice the remaining apples and toss with the lemon juice in a small bowl.
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Step 3) Heat the butter in a saucepan with the treacle and golden syrup until melted but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, then the egg. Stir into the bowl. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and spread to the edges. Scatter with the apple slices and some whole star anise.
Step 4) Bake for about 45 minutes, until the centre feels just firm to the touch. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar and serve warm, or leave to cool in the tin.
Recipe by Joanna Farrow