I've been baking a bit more lately, I don't know why, maybe the weather, maybe the fact that we are back from holidays and I am enjoying being back in my own (messy) kitchen. When I'm feeling at home, I bake.
The week before the holidays Lola and I were more or less home alone for a week while Max was skiing with Bruno's parents and Bruno was working. We had a very relaxing week, bonding, doing girly things and making pikelets with nutella for breakfast every morning (I blame Ms. Fabelhaft for Lola's nutella habit, entirely!). The pikelet recipe came from my trusty Edmonds cookbook (btw, check out this link for a look at an early version of the good ol' Edmonds, and just above it on the page was a recipe an Oaty Apple cake. Hmm, looks good, I thought to myself. I mentally bookmarked it for future reference, and went on holiday.
One week and many muscle aches later (what possessed me to try skiing again I don't know, why don't I just give up already), we were home and I was in a baking mood. The Oaty Apple cake! A bit of cakey indulgence, but still with enough healthy ingredients to pass muster as a pseudo health food - oats, grated apple, raisins etc. I bumped up the health quotient by using fresh orange juice instead of water, and fresh ginger instead of mixed spice.
I made it for Sunday afternoon tea with Bruno's parents, and it was delicious. A bit crumbly, esp. when warm from the oven (the flavour and texture improves after a day, if you can wait), but really good, moist and fruity, a bit like a muffin.
I made it again a few days later because we scoffed the first cake down so quickly that I needed to try it again to be really sure of its excellentness. I took some to my friend Gabriella and her visiting Italian parents, and she also loved it. Here, at her request, then, is the recipe:
Oaty Apple cake, adapted from the Edmonds cookbook
1/2 tsp cinnamon
good grating of fresh nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger, or 1 knob of fresh ginger, grated
1 cup of brown sugar (the browner the better)
2 apples, peeled and grated
1 cup of sultanas and cranberries (or whatever dried fruity mix you like)
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of rolled oats
1 1/2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 180°c, and line a spacious loaf tin.
- Put butter, spices/ginger, sugar, apples, dried fruit and orange juice in a LARGE saucepan (later when you add the baking soda is foams up rather alarmingly). Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool a little.
- Add soda to the mixture (watch out for the volcano-esque fountain!), then beat in eggs and rolled oats.
- Sift flour and baking powder into the saucepan and mix until just combined.
- Pour into tin and bake for at least 45 mins, or until it can be cleanly skewered. Leave in tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Store wrapped tightly in greaseproof paper and foil. If you can, wait until the next day to eat as the flavour and texture improves markedly.
- Eat happily in the sunshine with a cup of hot tea or a lovingly made coffee.