Friday, 11 April 2008

A Lesson in Life and a Warm Apple Cake

I found this little story yesterday, and I thought it was really good. It seems there was this seminary professor who had a preaching class to teach. On this one particular day, he scheduled each of his students to preach a sermon on the "Parable of the Good Samaritan." Each student was to go, one at a time, from his classroom to another where they would preach their sermons. Some were given ten minutes to get there and other's were allowed less time, forcing them to rush in order to meet the schedule. Each would have to walk down a particular corridor and, as they did, he had arranged to have a bum sitting there, which each would have to pass by, and not just any bum either. This bum would appear to be down and out and to have a need of some sort of aid.

There were some surprising results, which taught a very powerful lesson to the students. The number of good men and women who actually stopped to help was very low, especiallyamongst those students who were under the extra pressure of a shorter time period. The shorter the time given, the less there were that stopped to help this obviously needful man.

You can imagine the impact on the students when the professor finally revealed his experiment to this class of future spiritual leaders . . . for, in rushing to preach a sermon on the Good Samaritan, they had actually walked past and ignored the very beggar at the heart of the parable . . .

Something to think about the next time you have to rush past a homeless person selling the "Big Issue" or someone else who is obviously in need. It only takes a few minutes to stop and see if you can help and often only a few pennies to help make a difference. I think the following poem expresses it perfectly:

I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger.
Thank you.
I was imprisioned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
What good did that do?
I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
But I needed you.
I was homeless and you preached to me of the love and shelter of God.
I wish you'd taken me home.
I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.
Why didn't you stay?
You seem so holy, so close to God, but I'm still very hungry, lonely, cold, and still in pain.
Does it matter?

I baked the "Make Me Bake"challenge yesterday afternoon. Todd was thrilled, as he just loves apples. As you can see I have put up another one. This time it is a variety of delicious squares. This muse of mine is one of the favourite things I do on here, at least according to Todd. He enjoys the fruits of my labours, and quite happily so, but never so much as the one I did yesterday. He loves apple pie, apple crumble, apple anything . . . and when I topped his cake with a good dollop of clotted cream, well . . . how could he possibly resist! (I know . . . I DO spoil him!)

Adapted from the Women's Weekly cookbook, "Wicked Sweet Indulgences."

*Warm Apple Cake with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce*
Serves 8

A lovely warm and moist cake with tender slices of sweet apple baked right into the top and glazed with apricot jam . Served up with a delicious sweet butterscotch sauce, this truly is to die for.

125g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup plain flour
1 TBS milk
3 medium granny smith apples
1/2 cup apricot jam, warmed and strained

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup firmly packed soft light brown sugar
1/2 cup double cream
100g butter
2 TBS brandy

Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/350*F. Butter and line an 8 inch square cake tin with parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing in well between each addition. Sift the two flours together and then stir it into the mixture along with the milk. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Peel, core and halve the apples. Slice each half thinly. Lay the apple slices across the top of the batter, pushing them gently into the batter. Brush the warm jam evenly over the top of the apples.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is done. (it should spring back when lightly touched in the centre and be lightly browned on top) Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack.

Make the butterscotch sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat, until the sugar completely dissolves. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, without stirring for about 3 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened.

Serve the cake warm and cut into squares with a bit of the sauce drizzled over top.


  1. Mmmm...this looks yummy! I think it has to go on my 'must bake' list! Oh that is getting sooo long! So many recipes so little time! Hx

  2. Yup, that'll do for me! Sunday I think. I make excuses for eating naughty things on a Sunday, I don't know why!
    I like your 'anon' piece. For some reason it puts me in mind of the Sydney Carter hymn "Were you there?"
    love, Angie, xx

  3. STOP! It's not quite 8:00 AM and all I want is that cake! Now I just need to go to the store and buy some more apples and some brandy. :)

    I really am going to make this, my husband would go crazy over it, too.

  4. Smiling Hello from the CrossRoads:) I come across with your journal thru dear Tracy's. You've got a ''Delicious'' blog that is Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking for me:) Unfortunately I hardly find enough time to cook because of my busy daily routine. I believe that cooking requires some love and passion, you do it well, or you do not do it at all...

    All the best,

    ~ Nihal

  5. I just drooled on the puppies. That cake looks so good...............

  6. Mmmm...have fork, will there room at Oak Cottage for very hungry traveler?!

  7. oh my god .. this looks yummy

  8. That apple cake looks mighty yummy. I copied your recipe and hope to make it next weekend when I have company for dinner. Thanks for sharing.

  9. love apples and i love you for giving me this recipe

  10. mmmm that looks amazing. i love apple cake!

  11. What a wonderful message!

    I have to make that apple cake!!!


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