The theme for this monthly mingle is Apple Affection. I love apples and it is one fruit that I always have in my fruit basket. I strongly believe that a craving for something sweet (which normally happens to me late at night) can be soothed by eating an apple. I love all the varieties but prefer Starking apples.
I also like to serve apples as a side dish. I often serve mashed apple with Bockwurst and potato salad or with pork. Sometimes I will make stewed dried apple rings with a roast.
I also enjoy baking with apples. Fifty percent of the time my family will request appletart with caramel sauce if given the opportunity to choose a desert. The other fifty percent of the time it will be malva pudding and this appletart is actually a malva pudding containing apples! My brother and my SIL love my old fashion appletart.
For the Apple Affection monthly mingle I decided to make buttermilk cupcakes (a recipe from my mother), filled with applesauce, drizzled with cream cheese icing and topped with a baby toffee apple.
For the cupcakes:
125g soft butter
160ml castor sugar
5ml vanilla extract
250ml self-raising flour
160ml cake flour
2.5ml bicarbonate of soda
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Place cupcake papers in large muffin tins.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and mix through.
Sift the dry ingredients together.
Stir the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk into the butter mixture a little at the time and mix until just combined.
Spoon into the cupcake papers and fill till about two thirds from the top.
Bake in the pre-heated oven till cooked, for approximately 20 minutes.
Remove, let it cool down for 5 minutes in the pans before transferring to cooling racks. Cool completely.
For the baby toffee apples:
1 x 410g tin of baby apples
Drain the baby apples (keep the liquid).
Butter a baking tin.
Place the sugar into a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Cook until golden and until all the sugar has melted.
Dip the toffee apples into the melted caramel, coat all over and place onto the baking tins.
For the cream cheese icing:
30g soft butter
45g smooth cream cheese
10ml of the reserved baby apple liquid
90g icing sugar sifted
Beat the butter, cream cheese and apple liquid together.
Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
For the filling:
1 x 410g tin of pie apples
Liquidize in a food processor.
Slice off the top of the cupcakes and make a small hole in the cupcakes.
Fill the hole with the apple mash and spread all over the cut area. Place the top back onto the apple mash.
Drizzle with the cream cheese icing and place a baby toffee apple on top.
These are best eaten on the day that it was prepared because the caramel of the toffee apples starts melting after a few hours especially in humid conditions.