It’s best to soak the saffron overnight to extract as much flavour as you can. With a pinch, you can do it for a few hours, or even heat the milk and saffron to speed up the process. You will need a 22 cm springform pan for this recipe.
- 75 g unsalted butter, softened
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp milk
- 300 g (2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
- 3 Granny Smith apples (or other cooking variety), peeled, cored, cut into wedges
- 55 g (¼ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- pouring cream, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
Cooling time 10 minutes
Preheat oven to 170 °C. Grease and line base and sides of a 22 cm springform pan. Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time. Combine milk, vanilla and saffron mixture. Fold into butter mixture, alternating with the flour, and stir until just combined. Pour batter into pan and scatter evenly with apple wedges.
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over cake. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in cake centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with cream.
Photography by Alan Benson