Town on a Plate – Drunken Apple Cake

Sara Kittelty is a very busy lady who fits an awful lot into each day and still comes up smiling.  With six children and running a very popular café and Wok Sara webprovedore – Kittelty’s at the Gallery – you have to wonder if she ever has time to sleep.  We came to know Sara only a few short years ago when, with her partner Jon Young they were running their restaurant in the small town of Beaufort. A move to Ballarat to open Kittelty’s in Mair Street, was soon followed by the latest venture at the prestigious Art Gallery of Ballarat.  The food and coffee here is excellent, but Sara is also known for her cakes and she shares with us her recipe and tips for a luscious apple cake.

This is how Sara describes her fantastic cake.

“Ballarat and cold have strong associations. Lucky for us locals, apples need a cold snap to fruit well.  There are so many apples around at the moment. It has been a bumper season our way and I am lucky enough to be over the highway from Heritage FruitTrees Farm who have a mass of heritage apples we source for this cake. A real mix of tart cider apples, soft, pillowy cookers and regular eating apples that all go in together; this cake can use whatever you have on hand (or tree).   It’s a super simple recipe too – melt and mix. The brandy or rum you use really comes through for a depth of flavour. You could add more good vanilla extract if you are avoiding alcohol.  I always make big cakes for the cafe – 26cm tins – so you may have extra mix if you use a smaller tin – make some cupcakes with the leftover batter!  Enjoy, Sara”

Drunken Apple Cake

4 eggs
220 g caster sugar
4 tbsp dark rum or brandy (go all out and use Calvados – brandy made from apples)
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
160 g melted butter
165 g self raising flour
6 large apples – any variety or a mix.

Peel and core the 6 apples – chop into cubes.
Add the eggs, vanilla, rum and sugar to the melted butter and mix until incorporated.
Add the flour.
Gently fold the apples into the batter.
Pour into a greased and lined 26 cm cake tin – I always use springform to avoid cakes stuck in tins!
Cook at 180 degrees for around 50 minutes – the cake is ready when springs back when gently pushed in the middle with a few fingers – or use a cake tester to check.

“Eat it warm out of the oven and add thick cream or ice cream – I know I do!”