Assorted sugars, sequins, jimmies, balls, beads, pearls and nonpareils in so many colors! Sugar Lyons in copyrighted characters and ready-made gum paste flowers.
Beautiful royal icing roses and candy eyes for your icing or chocolate critters. Kits for your cake pops and wonderful confetti to decorate your cupcakes.
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Apple bread is a better description, but I suppose our ancestors assigned the title cake to any baked good with a little of precious sugar added. Known as Kerry Apple Cake in many parts of Ireland, I thought it was high time to share my recipe, especially since we took a lovely photo tour of County Kerry in an earlier blog post this week.
Here’s a quick video recipe tutorial which shows how simple this cake is to bake… I remember my granny’s kitchen in County Cork, with a black iron kettle singing over the fire, or the Bastille cooking potatoes or bread.
But alack and alas I can’t find my favorite cooking apple here in America. When cooked they retain a lovely tangy flavor, and with heat develop a perfect ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ texture, since they contain more acid and less sugar than other apples.
Granny Smiths are my chosen substitute when baking this cake in America, because they are the tangiest of American apples I can find. Prepare a 9-inch round baking pan by spraying with oil or coating with butter.
I like to prepare the flour and rub in the butter before I peel and slice my apples. This avoids adding browning apple slices to the cake.
I prefer to add a hint of cloves and nutmeg, spices more closely associated with apples in Ireland. If you can’t imagine cooked apples without cinnamon, feel free to toss some in.
It took many years for my taste buds to adjust to apple pie with cinnamon. Irish apple pies or tarts are made without spice or with a hint of cloves.
Cut the butter into the flour and rub it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Throughout my childhood I watched my mom and grannies rubbing butter into flour using their bare hands, so there’s no modernizing me at this stage.
My advice is to work quickly because apples turn brown pretty fast. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of a large spoon.
A toothpick or knife will come out clean when it is cooked and the top will be a lovely golden brown. Lovely with butter melting on top, or a dollop of cream or smothered in custard, you’ll certainly be licking your fingers and asking for seconds.
3 cups cake flour 2 teaspoons baking powder teaspoon salt teaspoon ground cloves teaspoon nutmeg 4 ounces butter ¾ cups sugar 4 large Granny Smith apples 2 large eggs ¼ cup milk 2 tablespoons sugar to sprinkle on top of cake Prepare a 9-inch round baking pan by spraying with oil or coating with butter.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour and rub it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of a large spoon. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.