It was my lovely cousin’s birthday last week and I decided to make her a cake. I’m not much of a baker, to be honest. I leave that to the fabulous Emily!
I have savoury-leaning taste buds, which is why all my favourite cakes are vegetable or fruit based: banana bread, carrot cake…
A few years ago I did a Jude Blereau cooking class at the Prahran Market. We made an awesome apple cake, which has remained in my thoughts ever since. I decided that I would make it for C’s birthday cake.
I love Blereau’s recipes, as I’ve mentioned before. The only issue is that they usually contain a few tricky-to-find wholefood ingredients. In this case, the challenging ingredient was barley flour. This was not to be located anywhere, including the local healthfood supermarket.
I therefore substituted the barley flour with wholemeal spelt flour, and reduced the quantity of baking powder (on Emily’s advice).
The cake turned out pretty well. The tartness of the apples and lemon contrasted beautifully with the sweetness of the mixture. The walnuts also added a lovely textural crunch. However, it was very crumbly. I’m not sure how that can be fixed! Nonetheless, the cake was a winner and it was enjoyed by all. I served it with some labne mixed with bush honey.
5 medium apples (I used granny smith)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup of oatmeal (I ground some muesli in a food processor)
1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
200g muscavado sugar
120g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1tsp natural vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
A handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan forced, less if otherwise). Grease a springform cake tin and line it with baking paper.
- Peel, quarter, core and slice the apples. Toss immediately in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest to stop them browning. (This takes a while. Suggest you employ a kitchenhand.)
- Combine the oatmeal, flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
- Beat the sugar and the eggs until creamy. Slowly pour in the melted butter and flour. (Mine curdled at this point – so annoying!! Perhaps that was why the texture was so crumbly?)
- Stand the batter for 10 minutes. Gradually add the milk and vanilla to create a thinnish batter.
- Ladle one third of the cake batter into the tin. Top it with a layer of apples. Do this two more times so that there is a layer of apple on top.
- Combine the walnuts and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
- Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cooked.
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before removing from tin.