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Sunday Magazine Recipe: green apple and poppy seed upside-down cake with honey and creme fraiche

This cake is deliciously moist thanks to the syrup which sinks into it as it bakes. Sweet cinnamon, tart apples and gently fragrant honey offer a sophisticated and unusual flavour combination. I love the little black specks from the poppy seeds, which give the cake a subtle crunch, and tangy creme fraiche is the best accompaniment to a generous slice.

GREEN APPLE AND POPPY SEED UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE WITH HONEY AND CREME FRAICHE
serves 12

Syrup & apples
4 tbsp honey
⅓ cup water
3 green apples, skin still on, cored and finely sliced

Cake
150g butter
150g brown sugar  
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 organic eggs
50g ground almond
150g plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp poppy seeds
½ cup Greek yoghurt

To serve
creme fraiche

Heat the oven to 180°C fan bake and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.

Prepare the syrup: Combine honey and water in a pot over medium-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the syrup has thickened slightly.

Starting from the outside, arrange the apple slices in the bottom of the lined tin. They should be overlapping, in a neat ring, and form a tight, fanned-out pattern. Do the same with the inner circle. Pour about 4 tablespoons of the syrup over the fruit.

To make the cake: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat for another minute. Gradually add the ground almonds, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, poppy seeds and yoghurt, until well combined. Be careful not to over-mix.

Pour into the tin, covering the apple slices.Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for around 10 minutes before turning onto a rack.

Serve warm with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.

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This recipe was originally published in the Sunday Star Times.

Photography: Emma Boyd