The term ‘teacake’ will mean different things to different people, depending on where you are in the world. If you were in the UK for example, a teacake is a yeast based bread with or without dried fruit. Whereas, in Australia, a teacake is a sponge based cake. It would seem that a teacake is unique to our Australian heritage and culture.
It is very hard to define Australian food simply because we take our influences from so many cultures. I am immensely grateful for the melting pot of cultures and cuisines that we have in Australia. It is what makes our food industry one of the best in the world. But when I look for what is uniquely ours, it is fraught with difficulty and dispute.
Few people make teacakes anymore and so there is a generation that is growing up without having tried one or even knowing what one is. And I think that is rather sad, particularly when it is uniquely Australian. There is a very comforting sense of wellbeing to have a cup of tea and piece of teacake.
175g butter, softened
250g castor sugar
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
very small pinch of clove
1 Green apple
1 tbs castor sugar
2 tbs brown sugar
Extra melted butter, optional
To prepare the apple topping, peel, core and dice the apple into 1cm cubes. Place the apple in a small saucepan with the castor sugar and gently simmer for a few minutes until the pieces are just soft with a little bit of crunch. The apple will continue to cook when it is baked with the cake. Remove the apple from the saucepan and allow it to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 20cm round baking tin with silicon or baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add each egg yolk, one at a time, continuing to beat well between each addition.
Sift the plain flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove together and add it to the mixture. Add the milk and salt and combine until the batter is smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Add the semi-stewed apple to the top of the cake and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Bake in the over for 45 minutes. When a skewer comes from the centre of the cake clean, remove the cake from the tin and cool on a cake rake.
The cake can be served warm. Melted butter can be brushed over the top of the cake.