A loaf cake with a difference, this spiced sponge is studded with apple chunks and topped with a crunchy almond crumble and flavoursome maple syrup glaze.
Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/325°F/Gas 3.
Make the sponge. Place the apple pieces in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the flour and toss to combine. Set aside.
Combine the softened butter and both sugars in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract, then add this to the butter mixture, little by little, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon of flour with the last 3 additions to stop the mixture curdling.
Sift the remaining flour, along with the cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl. Add the apple mixture, milk and maple syrup, then thoroughly combine. Transfer to the prepared tin.
To make the crumble topping, sift the flour, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugars. Rub in the butter until you have a rough crumble with plenty of larger knobbly pieces. Mix in the almonds then sprinkle evenly over the sponge.
Bake for about 70–80 minutes, until the loaf is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the loaf is completely cold, make the glaze. Sift the icing sugar and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre, then add the vanilla, maple syrup, cream and milk. Combine until the mixture is smooth, thick and pourable.
Transfer the glaze to the small piping bag. Snip the end and pipe the glaze in a zig-zag pattern over the cake. Finish with toasted almond flakes. Leave to set, then dust with icing sugar before serving.