This is my 100th post! It is also Fiesta Friday, so I wanted to make something special. By special I mean something sweet which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine as easily as a cup of tea, but healthful and light enough that you will still be able to try the other treats at the party.
With all the wild apples almost on my doorstep, I used some to make an apple puree to flavour a walnut based cake, gluten-free and with a dairy free option. I made both versions, and they are equally delicious – with surprisingly little difference even in the texture.
I admit these apples are never going to win any awards at a harvest fair. Most of them were picked up off the ground. But I love cooking with them for their tart flavour and dense flesh. Here is one cut open to give you an idea of how nice they can look, even if you wouldn’t likely choose to eat one raw.
To make the apple sauce, I cut and cored them and removed any bad spots – quite a few. I then covered them with water and simmered them until very soft and put them through the food mill. Because of their colour, they give a very rosy sauce which I know is free of any chemicals or additives.
This cake is completely original, and I am pleased with the texture and flavour. It is, after all, mostly a mixture of fruit, nuts and seeds with only honey as a sweetener. It is great on its own, but a honey glaze or other sweet topping just makes it that much more special. I made a glaze with honey and rose geranium leaves, since I am still experimenting with this winning combination of flavours which I first used in last week’s jelly.
Wild Apple and Walnut Cake
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, separated (or 2 Tbsp chia seeds)
1/2 cup liquid honey
1 1/2 cups apple sauce
1 cup ground walnuts
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 cup flax seeds, ground
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and add the oil, honey and apple sauce. Beat the egg whites in another bowl until they are stiff but not dry.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. When thoroughly mixed, fold in the egg whites.
If not using eggs, mix the flax seeds into the wet ingredients and let sit a couple of minutes before adding to the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into a prepared tin, and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the cake springs back when poked.
For the glaze, I infused some water with a few geranium leaves by simmering them together for five minutes. I then mixed equal amounts of liquid honey and the infused water (about 1/3 cup each) and brought it to a boil for another five minutes. Drizzle cooled mixture over the cake.
This cake is good any time of day and would make a great treat in packed school lunches – if you don’t mind sharing it.