You’re probably thinking that I’m apple obsessed, as this is the third apple recipe I’ve posted in the last four weeks. You are absolutely right, I love apple desserts and I particularly enjoy apple cakes on cold winter days with a hot coffee.
With fasting being such a big part of the Orthodox religion and Macedonian culture, there seems to be an abundance of vegan and vegetarian recipes for a variety of sweets. This recipe calls for semolina, the gritty coarse particles of unbleached wheat with a beautiful yellowish colour, often used to make pasta and gnocchi. Using a relatively small amount of oil and sugar, this cake is healthy-ish and almost guilt free.
2 apples, peeled and coarsely grated
Zest and juice of 1 orange (juice strained)
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil (e.g. canola or sunflower)
1/3 cup (80ml) water
3/4 cup (95g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (90g) semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (75g) walnuts, chopped
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Oil and line a rectangular loaf tin with baking paper.
2) In a bowl combine grated apples, orange zest and juice and set aside. In another bowl sift self-raising flour, semolina, bicarbonate soda and cinnamon.
3) In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil and water. Use an electric hand-held mixer to whisk until emulsified and the sugar granules dissolve (2-3 minutes). Use a spatula or large spoon to fold in sifted flour and semolina, mix until just combined. Add the grated apples with orange juice and zest, chopped walnuts and mix well (1 minute) .
4) Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.
5) Serve at room temperature with a dusting of icing sugar and a hot tea or coffee.
Tip: To check if the cake is ready insert a skewer, leave it for 5 seconds and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked, if it’s slightly sticky cook for a further 5 minutes and check again.