Preparation time 25 mins, plus 1 1/2 hour cooking
This is an absolutely smashing cake adapted from an Ottolenghi recipe. It gets better after a couple of days as the flavours develop so you can cook up to five days in advance and store covered in the refrigerator (icing on day of eating). Cooked cake can also be frozen.
80g dried Muscatels (we suggest the Tabletop chemical free range or substitute sultanas)
3 tbspns brandy
1 tbspn water
280g flour, half white, half wholegrain
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp bicarb soda
80ml olive oil
40ml walnut oil (or substitute olive oil)
160g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
3 granny smith apples peeled,cored and diced into 1cm pieces (approx 400g of diced apple)
2 egg whites
Cream Cheese Maple Icing
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g light muscovado sugar
85ml maple syrup
220g cream cheese at room temperature
Whole walnuts to garnish
Place sultanas and brandy and water in a pan or container and microwave or cook over low heat until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from heat and cool. You can do this step a few days in advance if you wish.
Oil a 20cm springform cake tin and line and preheat oven to 170C.
Sift together flours, spices, salt, baking powder and bicarb soda.
In a mixer beat sugar and oils until well mixed add lightly beaten whole eggs in batches. Beat well. Mix in apples, sultanas and lemon zest. Fold in dry ingrediants.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and fold half at a time into the rest of the batter.
Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the tin.
When cake is cold remove from tin and cut in half to make two layers.
In a mixer beat together sugar, butter and maple syrup until airy and pale. Beat in cream cheese until smooth.
Spread half of icing on cut side of bottom layer assemble top layer and then spread remaining icing on the top of the cake and garnish with walnuts.