Nick made this cake for our last cake club. The recipe comes from a lovely little book called “Cooking with apples and pears” by Laura Washburn.
It’s a lightly spiced loaf cake with, as you would imagine, apples, carrots and walnuts. Nick followed the recipe to the letter as usual, apart from adding a few extra chopped walnuts scattered on the top before baking and an apricot glaze, for extra glam. Both the apples and the walnuts were windfalls. Fresh walnuts are so wonderful, tender and sweet and nothing like the dry and bitter ones often available to buy.
It was delicious in the way that a no nonsense date and walnut loaf is delicious – homely and not too sweet and therefore sometimes preferred spread with a little butter. I liked it plain.
There was a good chunk of cake left over after the meeting and as we were heading back to the UK a couple of days later, I put it in the freezer. Three weeks later we returned to France so out of the freezer it came and then it really came into its own – toasted and buttered. Absolutely delicious and definitely a cake I will be making myself again – unless I can get Nick to do it for me!
250g plain flour
150g light muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp allspice
100ml apple juice
75g unsalted butter, melted
2 lge eggs, beaten
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
100g carrots, grated
65g walnuts, coarsely chopped
a few extra chopped walnuts for the topping (optional)
1 tblsp apricot jam to glaze (optional)
Line a 2lb / 900g loaf tin with baking paper or use a paper liner. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4.
Put the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together.
Put the apple juice, melted butter and eggs into another bowl and mix together. Add this to the dry mixture and mix to combine.
Squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the carrots and apples then add to the mixture with the walnuts and stir until just combined.
Transfer to the tin, level the top and add the extra chopped walnuts if you are using them. Bake for 1-1¼ hours.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Warm the apricot jam in a small pan and brush over the cake to glaze it if you like.
Cuts into 8-10 slices and will keep well in an airtight tin for 4-5 days.