October 13, 2014 § 3 Comments
I have been away from this space for almost two weeks now. Frequent visits to back home, a recent visit to mountains and the ever so increasing workload at office has been keeping me away from you all. That doesn’t mean that I have not being baking. Rather I baked four different kinds of cakes in past couple of weeks. Just that I have been able to capture the pictures only for this one.
Apple & olive oil cake with maple icing is the recent one which I baked for my family this weekend. And this time around I got lucky to take some pics before the family got to gobble it down quickly. The other two cakes which I baked were a pine nut and olive oil cake and a banana wholemeal breakfast cake. My olive oil-in-cakes fascination doesn’t seem to end very soon. Rather I use olive oil in my recipes quite often.
Especially in cakes, it lends a tender and moist crumb which probably only a good quality butter could yield. The moist and lighter flavors from my lemon rosemary and ricotta olive oil cake will always remain alive in my memories. Such lovely and ethereal flavors will always give you the comfort of your life. It’s like some soft melody playing in your ears while you are day dreaming sitting in your armchair on a relaxed and sunny day.
Such were the lovely flavors we experienced again when we took the first bite of this lovely moist olive oil and apple cake. The maple cream cheese icing on top took the perfection to the next level. Warm earthy flavors of cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup paired along with juicy red apples and tanginess of cream cheese were just perfect for us to spend our weekend at leisure while we chit chatted for hours throughout the weekend.
A cup of hot simmering coffee to go along with these lovely flavors and endless talks was all what we needed. And why shouldn’t it create such magic, the recipe is from one of my favorite cook book authors, Yottam Ottolenghi. Ottolenghi has never been disappointing. He knows how to create magic with flavors. The olive oil in this cake gives it that extra depth and intensity of flavors. The maple icing is the cherry on the cake which makes it all the more festive looking, isn’t it?
- 80 gm golden raisins
- 280 gm 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 tsp vanilla powder
- 120 ml olive oil
- 160 gm superfine sugar
- 2 eggs and 2 egg whites
- 3 large apples, cored, peeled and diced
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 100 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100 gm light muscovado sugar
- 85 ml maple syrup, extra for topping
- 200 gm cream cheese
- handful of roughly chopped walnuts
- Grease 8 inch springform cake pan and line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.
- Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder and vanilla powder and keep it aside.
- Put the oil and super fine sugar in a bowl and whisk them together. Add 2 whole eggs one by one, beating the mixture to make it smooth and thick.
- Mix in diced apples, raisins, lemon zest and then gently fold in the dry ingredients.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites to make a stiff meringue. Fold them in to the batter in 2 additions, trying to maintain as much air as possible.
- Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake for around 55 - 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool in the pan. Once it it completely cooled, remove from the pan.
- To prepare the icing, beat the butter, cream cheese, maple syrup, muscovado sugar in a bowl to make a smooth and fluffy frosting.
- To assemble, cut the cake horizontally into two halves. Using a spatula, spread a layer of icing over the bottom half of the cake. Carefully place the second half of the cake on it. Spoon the rest of the icing on the cake and spread to cover the top and the sides of the entire cake.
- Top with chopped walnuts and drizzle the extra maple syrup, as you like.
- Original recipe suggests the cake to bake for 1 1/2 hours, while mine baked perfectly in 60 minutes.
October 7, 2014 § 10 Comments
This time, I am not going to talk about food. Rather I am trying to depict the beautiful moments we lived through the last weekend in beautiful mountains of north. We travelled, trekked and spotted some really beautiful birds and breathed in loads of fresh air. We doused ourselves in the serenity of the mighty Himalayas. And we came back all rejuvenated. Hope you enjoy the journey the way we travelled, through this photographic essay.