Serves: 8-12 – Prep time: 20 mins – Cook time: 70 mins
Ingredients: 225g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened; 220g (7oz) plus 1 tblsp caster sugar; 220g (7oz) plus 1 tblsp dark brown soft sugar; 3 eggs; 280g (9oz) plain flour; 1 tsp baking powder; ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda; 1 tsp ground allspice; 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon; 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg; ¼ tsp ground cloves; ¼ tsp ground ginger; ¼ tsp ground cardamom; ½ tsp salt; 3 tblsp bourbon; 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks; 120g (4oz) shelled whole pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
- Heat the oven to 160oC (gas mark 2-3). Grease a 20cm (8 in) round cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Using an electric mixer with paddle or beater attachment (or an electric whisk), beat the butter and both sugars until the mixture is almost light in colour and fluffy in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly combined before adding the next. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix again for 1 minute.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, all the spices and salt and sift twice. Add one third of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until well incorporated. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour the bourbon over the apples in a bowl and mix. Fold the apples and pecans into the cake mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
- Bake in the hot oven for 55-70 minutes. A wooden skewer inserted in the middle should come out with almost no crumbs attached, and the middle of the cake, when pressed, should spring back slightly instead of sinking. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes if necessary.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Slide a table knife all around the edge to loosen the cake, then remove from the tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.