This month's Best Of British Challenge, sponsored by New World Appliances (represented by Fiona MacLean at The Face Of New World Appliances), is all about Yorkshire and is being hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage. Being born and bred in Devon, it wasn't until three years ago when I really ventured up North so, though I did visit York to look at the university, I wasn't very aware of the vast array of baked goods and produce that come from there. It might sound ridiculous when you think of Wallace and Gromit's accents, but I didn't even realise Wensleydale was in Yorkshire. I didn't need to worry though, because Karen gave a huge list of produce from the region and I also have a friend who studies up there so I asked her advice.
I didn't really know where to begin with the baked goods from York, but my friend (and a few other contributors) suggested Parkin. This does look tasty, but I'm always after a bit of a challenge and like to try out new ideas, so I thought I'd do something with Wensleydale cheese instead. I've had a recipe for Wensleydale Apple Pie from BBC Food bookmarked for ages, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out such an interesting combination of flavours.
I'm not a huge shortcrust fan, so I ditched the pie part of the recipe and decided to make a cake out of it instead, adding a crumble on top partly as a nod towards the more traditional apple crumble, and also because I love crumble - I can't wait until Apple and Blackberry Crumble season!
To those of you who are still not convinced by the ingredients in this cake, the Wensleydale doesn't have a noticeable flavour and instead adds a certain something to the cake, complimenting the apples very nicely. I highly recommend this cake as it's really tasty; I might even eat some for breakfast tomorrow, it's that good!
For the cake:
- 500g Braeburn Apples (about three medium sized ones)
- 175g Wensleydale Cheese
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 200g Butter
- 200g Self Raising Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Eggs
For the crumble topping:
- 80g Plain Flour
- 20g Caster Sugar
- 35g Butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I've actually started using an electric whisk to get enough air in for a nicely risen cake.
- Beat in the eggs until the batter has a smooth consistency.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter and fold in gently until they are well combined.
- Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks.
- Grate or crumble the Wensleydale into the cake batter, add the apple chunks and gently stir in.
- To make the crumble, put all the remaining ingredients into a bowl and rub them together with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, pour the crumble on top and bake for approx. 1 hour 10 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
For a more detailed guide on making the crumble mixture into breadcrumbs, along with other tips on baking cakes, take a look at The Basics.
As I mentioned above, I'm entering this cake into the Best Of British Challenge. My entries for previous months were the Chocolate Scottish Shortbread for the Scottish challenge and the Strawberry and Clotted Cream Jubilee Cake for the Cornwall challenge.
I'm not sure I'll make anything until next weekend now because my family are holidaying in Crete (a 40 minute drive from the nearest shop - heaven for some but not for me) until the 28th and I still haven't eaten all of the Piña Colada Cupcakes from Thursday, despite taking several into work (they were very well received, by the way!), so it's for the good of my general health that I don't make and eat anything else for a few days!
Enjoy the sunshine that's finally been bestowed on us!