I am not one for simple foods. I like to eat them but I do not like to make them. Challenge me with a treble-decker chocolate cake with swirls of butter creams and dancing green fairies if you must, but do not ask me to flip an omelette or fry two decent eggs because I will fail over and over. In fact, The Omelette is my bête noire and something that I hate in all of its declensions.
When I was served one at the brunch at The Plaza and then another one again at the one at the Waldorf Astoria, I paused in envious contemplation of the perfectly folded sheets of golden deliciousness whilst wondering where on earth I always go wrong.
And so it was with pleasure that I ate mum's own apple cake, not something I would bother with in my own real life, but something that she likes to make and Rick likes to eat. In fact, it is fair to say that I do not really like apple sweets because I am not a fan of The Apple. I mean, why having an apple when you could have a piece of chocolate? I know, it's a bit like wondering why bothering with being straight when you could be a gay man enjoying Rupert Everett, but still...
50g melted unsalted butter
200g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
Line a tin with baking parchment and warm the oven at 180C. Place all of the ingredients for the cake (which means... bar the apples!) in a mixing bowl and give it all a good whip with an electric mixer. Within one minute you will have a reasonably scant mixture that you will pour into the waiting tin. Now peel and core the apples and slice them into wedges. Place all of these on the cake in your own pattern and bake for one hour, starting to check it only past the 50 minutes' mark. Remember... ovens can be a bit unpredictable and what works at my place (or at mum's) may not work at yours.