I like to have fresh cake made for the weekend, such a treat don't you think to eat cake on Sunday with a nice coffee, and this one ticks all the boxes. No icing on this one though, just sifted icing sugar, but you could ice them if you really must. This recipe, was adapted from a school recipe book in Western Australia by Matthew Evans, of Gourmet Farmer fame. These aren't fancy cakes, they are low cost country style apple cakes, moist and crumbly, and taste even better the day after they are made. Matthew Evans lives in Tasmania where apples are plentiful, and I always have apples in the fruit bowl and walnuts in my freezer staying fresh, so it is easy to make this cake. Apples and walnuts should always be together.
Granny Smith green apples are the best kind to use for this cake. Those of you of my generation might remember Roger Miller's famous song "little Green Apples, from his 1968 album "A Tender Look at Love", which he wrote for his wife. It has been covered many times by various artists and even though I have to say it wasn't an actual favourite of mine, the song bounced into my head as soon as I started thinking about green apples.
"God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the Summertime
And when myself is feelin' low
I think about her face aglow and ease my mind"
And if that's not lovin' me, then all I've got to say, .........
Written by Roger Miller. 1968
After that moment of self indulgence, back to the cake. The consistency of this cake mixture reminds me of a mixed fruit cake mixture, where there is a minimum of cake batter and maximun of fruit, and where the mixing spoon stands up by itself in the centre, a sure yardstick of a good fruit cake. The first time I made these cakes, the mixture makes two 20 cm cakes, one was eaten very quickly, and the other one sat in the refrigerator for over a week and still tasted perfect, like any fruit cake should. I was pretty thrilled with this recipe. The bonus with making two cakes, is that if you need one for an occasion, pop that one in the frig, leaving the other one to be eaten by the family.
My 4 year old grandson living in the Falkland Islands is invited to a lot of birthday parties, in fact in Stanley it seems that everyone in the class is invited to every birthday party always held at a large venue in the town with jumping castles etc, so that means a lot of parties and a lot of cake. Because the population there are basically British, and we know they have a sweet tooth and love cake, well they do in the Falkland Islands anyway, (hope I'm not generalising too much), I am told there is always a predominance of cake over savouries and healthy food, at the children's parties. Some of the parents, including my son and his wife worry about the amount of cake the children are eating, and when I made this cake I thought this would be the perfect kind of cake for a children's party. Sweet enough, or the sugar can be halved, and there is plenty of fruit in the mixture. That's what I told myself anyway as I ate a second slice. It could be iced and decorated and still be much healthier than a bought one.
|Ready to be iced if you wish.|
|Dusted with icing sugar|
This recipe will make 2x20 cm cakes and this time I made a loaf cake and a round one, I have also made a large 23 cm cake, and a couple of muffin size cakes which can be frozen. Whatever works for you will be fine.
6 large apples, or 8 small, preferably Granny Smith or some other sour variety
200 g (1 cup) demerara or raw sugar (or use a mixture of brown and caster sugar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
few drops vanilla extract
125 ml (1/2 cup) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200 g very fresh walnuts, broken up
250 g (2 cups) self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice or baharat
Icing sugar and thick cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C. Grease and line two 20 cm round cake tins or use loaf tins.
This is a sit down job. Peel and core your apples. Cut and dice into pieces the size of a 5 cent piece.
Place the apple into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and walnuts.
Sift in the flour, salt, and cinnamon, and stir to make a smooth batter.
Divide the batter between the tins, then bake for 40 minutes. Test to see if it is cooked by inserting a skewer into the mixture and if it comes out clean, voila the tins are ready to place on a cooling rack.
Cool the cakes in the tins for a few minutes, then turn them out onto your wire rack to cool.
To serve, dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of thickened cream or yoghurt.
I hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend, wherever you are.