Apple & Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing

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I thought I’d finish off the week with another apple recipe. This one is for a cake. I was intrigued by the title and the picture looked “interesting” (I’m using quotes not as sarcasm, but because I couldn’t think of a better word). I hope epicurious will forgive me because I had to post a pic of the cake from their website. From the pic alone, I knew I had to make this cake.

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Pic from the epicurious site

The only substitutions I made in this recipe was light brown sugar for the muscovado (had to google it) and I used a 9” springform pan instead of an 8” pan. Since I was using a slightly larger pan, I probably should have adjusted the cooking time since the cake wouldn’t be as high and would bake for less time, but I forgot and over baked the cake a bit. When I took it out of the oven, it reminded me of a fruitcake and I was instantly put off.

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I started on the icing (which looked like it was on the verge of melting constantly), and put the cake together. Words don’t exist to describe how I feel about this cake, so I will just say that it’s not the cake for me. The icing however was delicious, and I look forward to finding an appropriate cake to frost it with. Maybe banana?

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Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing

Ingredients

Cake:

  • heaping 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (you can put regular granulated sugar in a food processor for about a minute if you don’t have superfine)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (you can substitute 1 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract)
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/8-inch dice
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Maple Icing:

  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • scant 1/2 cup light muscovado sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • scant 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

Method:

Grease an 8-inch springform cake pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Place the raisins and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until all of the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.

Put the oil and superfine sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a whisk if you don’t have a mixer). Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and, using a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out into the bowl. Beat the oil, sugar, and vanilla together, then gradually add the eggs. The mix should be smooth and thick at this stage. Mix in the diced apples, raisins, and lemon zest, then lightly fold in the sifted dry ingredients.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl, either by hand or with a mixer, until they have a soft meringue consistency. Fold them into the batter in 2 additions, trying to maintain as much air as possible.

Pour the batter into the lined pan, level it with an icing spatula, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the plan.

Once the cake is completely cold, you can assemble it. Remove from the pan and use a large serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally. You should end up with 2 similar disks. If the cake is very domed, you might need to shave a bit off the top half to level it.

To make the icing, beat together the butter, muscovado sugar, and maple syrup until light and airy. You can do this by hand, or preferably, in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cream cheese and beat until the icing is totally smooth.

Using the icing spatula, spread a layer of icing 3/8 inch / 1 cm thick over the bottom half of the cake. Carefully place the top half on it. Spoon the rest of the icing on top and use the icing spatula to create a wavelike or any other pattern. Dust it with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.

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