Mr. Lumberjack

It's that time of year again where the weekends are spent in a paddock, on a neighbouring property, finding fallen trees that are ready to be cut, cleaned up and lovingly stacked in our wood house.

This wood is perfect and ideal for burning in my wood-fired oven.  Building a fire in my Stanley is quite simple, that is once you've worked out which way both of the 'open & close' controls are meant to sit.  But once this has been mastered, and this may involve some singed eyebrows, it works like a dream! 

Today I'm going to make my husband a lumberjack cake!  If you want a really moist, dense, sweet treat to feed your partner in appreciate for his or her hard work in these colder months.....and in this case it's thanks for the beautiful wood he so passionately collects so we can stay warm and I can cook in Stanley, then lumberjack cake is for you!

The recipe calls for a couple of big cooking apples.  We have a lovely old brambles apple tree in our backyard, thanks to a past owner who loved her garden and made sure she selected the best apples trees to plant.  I'm able just to pop out the back and collect a couple.

This tree comes with a warning....if one of these babies falls and connects with your head....you'll know about it!

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Now I know I'm amongst friends when I tell you that I always start something with good intentions - make the cake, get it in the oven, eat it for morning tea.....but distracted by these glorious long pliable branches shooting up from this apple tree, I get side-tracked easily.....or as it's fondly known - I was faffing about!

OK, now I've got that out my system, where was I.....other than admiring my new wreath :)

Peel and cut your apples in chunky chunks, these will get cut up a bit smaller.

Next, chop up 1 cup of dates.  I prefer the fresh ones, they taste so much better.

Recipe - Lumberjack Cake

2 large granny smith apples (or good cooking apples)
1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup boiling water
125g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour

Topping
60g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Method
Finely chop and combine apples and dates, mix in bicarb soda and boiling water, cover and let stand.

Grease deep 19cm cake pan, line with paper. (ensure the paper rises over the sides of the pan - works well as handles)

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy.  Add egg and beat until combined. With a wooden spoon, alternatively blend in parts of the apple date mixture and flour.  Pour into pan and bake in moderate over for 50 minutes. Pour topping over the top of the cake and sprinkle with additional coconut.  Return to over and cook for a further 30 minutes. Topping should be golden brown and caramelised.  Allow to cool in pan.

Topping
Combine butter, sugar, cream and most of the coconut in a pot, stir over a low heat until butter is melted and ingredients combined.

Eating lumberjack cake for breakfast is highly recommended, if you ask my husband.

I hope you get to try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do. x Julie