An apple a day . . .

Apple day at Cambridge University Botanical Gardens brought blustering winds but a lot of happy apple goers!

With preparations all done the night before,  myself and Niki arrived at the Botanical Gardens ready to intice the crowds with slow-risen focaccia topped with apples, sage and sea salt. We also served up the massive crowd-pleaser – Apple Crumble Cake.

Placed next to Watergull Orchards, we soon became firm friends for the day in a trade-off of food for cider! There were other great locals exhibiting alongside us – from The Real Bread Campaign to Glebe Farms each of them offering information on how they work with apples.

Our aim of the day was to educate guests on what we offer at the Cookery School and to promote the wonderful gift of a gift voucher for (dare I say it!) Christmas.  A gift voucher with us is not just a material object but a wonderful experience that will be remembered forever and will change the way you cook for life.

Due to the heavy foot fall,  we were unable to venture too far from our tent yet the array of apples being eaten by people was amazing. My particular favourite was the Red Devil, which seemed to be the apple of choice for kids as well. I do like to think I am ‘down with the kids’!

All in all it was a great day and we hope to see some of the new faces we meet at the Cookery School very soon. Personally if the ‘Nonno’ (Grandfather) from Italy telling me my focaccia bread was amazing and better than home came back I would be enormously happy!

To finish this blog though I have let out a trade secret and added the recipe for the Apple Crumble Cake, if you would like to know about making the Italian styled bread we had, look under our bread courses and it features on Beginner’s Bread. Lastly,  don’t forget those gift vouchers for Christmas either for someone special or for yourself, an easy alternative to braving the crowds of town. If you are interested in buying one – please email us at [email protected] and we can take it from there!

Apple, cinnamon and ginger cake

150g soften butter
150g castor sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
70g ground almonds
2 apples chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon each of cinnamon and ginger

100g each of chilled butter, flour and Demerara sugar
3 tablespoon rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Pre heat oven to 180C and line a round loose bottom tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Add each of the eggs slowly whilst continuing to beat. Once they are incorporated add the vanilla to the mix
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and fold in gently. Add the ground almonds and fold to combine.
  5. Take the prepared tin and spoon the mixture in, smoothing the surface over with a spatula.
  6. Scatter the apple pieces over the top of the batter and lightly press them in to the cake with your finger tips.
  7. For the crumble mix rub the flour and butter together to resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in the Demerara sugar, oats and cinnamon. Lastly scatter the crumble mix over the top of the cake.
  8. Bake the cake for 45-60 minutes.
  9. Once the cake is removed from the oven place it on a cooling rack cool for 15-20 minutes then release the sides of the tin.
  10. 10. Once cooled place in an airtight container, it will keep well for 2-3 days (that’s if it hasn’t been eaten in the first 10 minutes!).
  11. 11. This cake freezes well but make sure it is completely cooled before wrapping tightly in cling film and placing in the freezer.