Friday, November 6, 2009

Apple Cake With A Tuscany Olive Oil Harvest Touch

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

“I lived on a farm until I was 7 during the Great Depression... The only thing we bought from the store was flour and sugar... My grandmother... smelled good, like apples, because she was always making apple cake."
-- Barbara Frye

Today, my third child--The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2009-2010)--arrived on my doorstep. Yes, I received advance copies on this new addition to the Healing Powers series. Ironically, yesterday I enjoyed the gift of gourmet chocolates from Enjou. And this morning, when I brought the books inside my house I was ready to take out a fresh apple cake (with a taste of healing chocolate) in the oven. Baking at night is therapeutic but whipping up something before noon is a true delight. The aroma in the air is nice and lingers like today's memory of receiving my new book--creating a lasting image that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I've been wanting to use my new Daisy Pan (which makes me think of Tuscany's breathtaking sunflower fields like seen in my fave film Under the Tuscan Sun). I chose the perfect day to do it. It was fate. I was going to turn to failproof parchment paper but decided against it. Also, I was reading a lot of posters' comments on one website warning that you cannot use olive oil when you bake a cake. Some say the flavor will be not so good. Not so. Other folks said if you don't have vegetable oil use butter. So, I decided to use both...

Apple Cake

2 1/4 cups all-natural whole wheat flour
4 brown eggs
1 cup brown sugar, light
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
3 large honeycrisp apples, chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt 1 teaspoon (each) cinnamon, nutmug, allspice
confectioners' sugar
dark chocolate shavings

Wash apples, core, slice, chop. (You can leave skins on if preferred.) Place in a bowl of ice water. Melt butter and stir in oils. Place in bowl and add eggs. In another bowl combine flour, sugar, spices. Mix dry ingredients with oils and add vanilla. Oil daisy pan and dust with flour. Pour half of the batter into the pan. Place apples (mixed with brown sugar) on top. Pour the rest of the batter on top of fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or till done. Cool. Sprinkle with sugar and top with dark chocolate shavings (in the center of the cake use more in the daisy circle). Go ahead and serve in the pan (as seen in the above photo)--it's a nice simple touch.

The cake is done. It could have been turned out on a platter but I decided to keep it in its daisy pan for the charming Italian effect. It is a light, tasty tea cake--and yes, do serve with English hot tea or Italian coffee. Also, if you warm up a slice in the microwave (10-15 seconds) it brings out the flavor of the sweet and tart apples. Am I happy with my Apple Cake? You betcha. And I will freeze it and serve for breakfast, dessert or a snack in the coming days this fall. (To be able to eat these healthful treats, like lean French women can and do, it helps to get a move on so as usual I'm off to the pool for lap swimming; and the dogs await my return for their romp.) The word is, honeycrisp apples won't be around forever at Lake Tahoe. Evidently, it's an autumn treasure. Psst. I bought several more to eat as is.


  1. I love honeycrisp apples. What will I ever do when they are AWOL?

  2. I am writing this recipe down, it sounds wonderful.

  3. Hi Ang, it is so easy and good. When a recipe works, the food is awol. And I had my last piece just today. These apples are amazing if you can get 'em.