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This recipe for Caramelised Apple Upside Down Cake is perfect for Autumn or Winter. I've added a twist with the brandy caramel and a little bit of maple syrup.

The apples and caramel:

60g of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

1/2 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 cup of brandy or calvados

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

3 apples (or you can use 3 ripe pears)

The cake:

85g of unsalted butter, very soft

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup of flour

3 tablespoons of polenta

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of milk

1 vanilla pod

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 22cm springform pan. (It's a good idea to place the springform pan on an oven tray as some of the caramel might leak.)

2. Combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, brandy and maple syrup in a small saucepan and boil for 60 seconds. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange the apples and press them down slightly to level them.

3. For the cake, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until very smooth and fluffy.

4. Sprinkle in the flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt, and beat for 10 seconds. Pour in the milk and beat just until mixed. Spoon the batter over the apples and smooth the top.

5. Bake approximately for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place a plate over the cake, then invert onto the plate. Serve warm with fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Recipe and photography from†Celeste Vlok

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