Maureen: After a fantastic barbeque of beef tagliata (thanks Nigella!) with asparagus, aubergine, peppers and halloumi, it’s time for dessert. Tonight it’s apple struesel cake.
Andrew (11) and Nicholas (7): Hooray! Cake!!
Alice (Visiting grandmother): Has your mom ever made you a cake you haven’t liked?
Andrew: Yes! The prune cake!
Andrew and Nicholas: Yuck! Awful! Worst Ever! Disgusting!
Tim: There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s no such thing as a microwave cake.
Andrew: It was truly disgusting. It was the worst thing ever!
Maureen: Moving on from the microwave cake, which we can agree was a crime against gastrononmy. What do we think about this one?
Tim: I disagree. I think it’s very nice.
Maureen: For an apple cake, I think it’s nice. But it seems like you should be eating it in the morning or the afternoon, especially with the crumb top.
Alice: I agree.
Nicholas: When I bite into it, it gives me the shivers.
Andrew: (laughing) Like an evil spirit?
Maureen: Would you like me to make it again?
Andrew: No comment. It’s not that I didn’t like it, it’s just that you’ve made better desserts. But you’ve also definitely made worse.
Maureen (somewhat testily): We’ve covered the disaster of the prune dessert at length, I think. However, I do think I can say with confidence that most of my desserts are of a quality that people enjoy very much.
Tim: The question to ask is, “Is it better than other apple crumble desserts?”
Maureen: I would say that it is. It’s delicious, and also reminds me a little of crumb cake, which I love.
Tim: I think it’s better than other apple crumbles too.
George: I think the problem with the cake is that we just had a very rich dinner, and it would be better suited for an afternoon.
• My springform pan was 24 cm rather than the called for 20 cm. This meant the cake became more shallow, and it cooked faster, but it was just as good.
• Making the cake itself took less than 30 minutes, so it’s a quick and easy dessert to do if you’re short on time.