recipe: nigella’s apple and walnut cake

I think I deserve to win daughter of the year for this effort. Well maybe not, but still, I put in a decent amount of effort to make Nigella’s Apple and Walnut Cake for my Dad’s birthday which is today (found in Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess).

Serves 6
Scant 1/2 cup golden raisins
6 tbs of rum
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs walnut oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups self-raising cake flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound tart eating apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small cubes
zest of 1 lemon
Scant 3/4 cup walnuts, optional
8-inch springform pan, buttered and floured

Method
1.
 Put the golden raisins and rum into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, letting the raisins plump up aromatically. Now, preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan-forced.
2. Beat the oil and sugar together in a bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating until it looks like a light mayonnaise. I’d use an electric mixer of some sort here. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, folding with a metal spoon. Then stir in the apples, lemon zest, drained raisins, and walnuts if using. Smooth what will be a fairly stiff batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour, poking into it with a cake tester or toothpick to check if it’s done.
3. Let the cake stand for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then turn out and leave to cool. You can either leave it a day before eating it (wrapping it well, once completely cool, in foil first) or eat it straight away.

I made a few adjustments to the recipe. I couldn’t find golden raisins (not sure you can actually buy them in Australia), so I just used normal raisins and I soaked them in Bundaberg Rum. Because it is a very stiff mixture, I used the left over rum to make it easier to stir. I also couldn’t find walnut oil (I didn’t look outside of supermarkets) so I tried to ‘infuse’ normal olive oil with some chopped up walnuts and heated it on the stove and left it to infuse for around 20 minutes. And I used Granny Smith apples.

Here’s what it looked like:

I’m pretty happy with the taste, it’s a very light cake. My only complaint is that I personally didn’t feel that the dry ingredients were mixed in thoroughly enough, so I would recommend mixing the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl BEFORE putting them in the egg mixture. Other than that, a pretty delicious cake.

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