Apple cake with olive oil
This unusual recipe produces a very moist cake that stays fresh for several days. It actually tastes better (more interesting) if left for one or two days. The cake derives texture from the olive oil but not its flavour, which diminishes when cooked; you could substitute other oils with a high burning temperature, eg grapeseed oil.
5 medium-sized apples (Golden Delicious or Granny Smith), peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
100g dried apricots, chopped coarsely
200g raw or demerara sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
A few drops of vanilla essence
½ cup oil (extra virgin olive oil is excellent)
200g walnut kernels, coarsely chopped
250g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp ground ginger
(vary spices to suit your own taste)
1. Grease two loaf tins or 20cm round cake tins and line base with baking paper.
2. Place the apples, apricots and walnuts in a large bowl and combine well
3. Heat oven to 170oC (it is important to cook the cake slowly so the pieces of apple can cook through).
4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until thick and smooth, then add the olive oil and beat for a minute to combine well.
5. Add the egg mixture to the fruit and nuts and toss to combine. Sift the flour, salt and spices into the bowl and work to make a smooth – but chunky – batter.
6. Spoon mixture into the cake tins and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes.
7. Allow to cool in tins for a few minutes then finish cooling on a rack.