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Now I'm no baker, but...

At the weekend, our lovely neighbour called round with a bag of cooking and eating apples, fresh from her daughter's garden. My daughter got straight into the eating apples and I got straight onto wondering what to make with the cooking apples.

I love home grown fruit and veg, we have a tiny raised bed and get all sorts out of it. The runner beans this year have been ridiculous for quantity and quality. I've put them in everything I can think of; risottos, stews, steamed as a side dish, in hummus, and even in a pesto (which was actually the best thing I have made with them so far!). Better than growing stuff, is the eating of the stuff. And I have two very honest taste testers at my disposal.

We had already baked some hand picked wild brambles the week before and made a crumble from them. So I didn't fancy another crumble. I'm not a lover of pies so I decided on a cake, a traybake in fact.

With autumn in the air, and, admittedly, with Great British Bake Off's caramel week still ringing in my ears, I wanted to make something with a toffee/caramel taste. And so my Toffee Apple Traybake was born.

I have to say that it was very sweet, very very sweet. Maybe it could have done with a dollop of creme fraiche to contrast the sweetness, or a pinch of salt in the toffee sauce. But in the main, it was pretty delicious. And, as you will see from the recipe below, calorie-tasctic. But a bit of what you love does you good, I am a firm believer in that. And I do exercise the thought 'is it worth the calories' before I eat any treat. If it's home made my answer is almost always 'yes!'. So give it a go and see what you think. Do bear in mind it makes a decent amount so it's great when you're feeding a crowd. 

I've included the picture I took of it, now I'm no baker but I do love to do it anyway. I don't always manage to make the food I produce look stunning, or anywhere near, but I do knock myself out trying to make it taste good. For the record, it got the thumbs up from both of my taste testers. One of them even licked the plate clean (and unfortunately it wasn't my daughter!)

450g cooking apples, thinly sliced

Lemon juice

225g butter

280g golden caster sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

350g self raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

demerara suger to sprinkle

Coat the apples in the lemon juice to stop them browning. Beat the softened butter with the caster sugar, then add the eggs and mix along with the vanilla extract. Add the baking powder to the flour and then fold in the wet ingredients. Spoon half of the batter into a tray (I used a 27cmx20m one, it could have done with being a bit smaller) and then layer over half of the sliced apples. Spoon over the remaining batter and top with the remaining sliced apples. Sprinkle over the Demerara sugar. Place into an oven preheated to 180 degrees and bake for around 50 minutes. If the top of the cake starts to darken too much, cover with foil until the cake is baked. Test the cake with a skewer, if it comes out clean - the cake is done!

While the cake is cooling (the cake is best eaten warm but not hot from the oven!) make the toffee sauce.

175g light muscovado sugar

50g butter

225ml double cream

1 tbsp golden syrup or treacle

Add the sugar, butter, and half of the cream to a pan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, add the golden syrup or treacle. Let the sauce bubble away for 2 or 3 minutes and then take off the heat. Add the remainder of the cream and stir in. Pour over slices of the apple cake - be careful as it will be like really hot!

Toffee apple traybake