3 apples (450g), peeled, cored and chopped into 1.5cm pieces – mix of pink lady and granny smith is nice
200g plain flour
100g rye flour
3 tsp ground aniseeds
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp salt
140g castor sugar
140g light brown sugar
250ml olive oil (use light olive oil so the flavour doesn’t overpower the rest)
1 orange, zested
seeds from ½ vanilla bean
2 eggs at room temperature
For the caramelised walnuts:
60g castor sugar
For the maple cream cheese icing:
80g butter (at room temperature)
80g light brown sugar
70g maple syrup
170g cream cheese (at room temperature)
For the caramelised walnuts, line a small tray with baking paper and set aside. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the bottom of a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Without stirring, allow the sugar to melt, swirling the pan gently so that it doesn’t catch and burn. Continue to cook until it turns a dark amber colour, then add the walnuts. Stir gently to coat in the caramel, then quickly pour onto the lined tray. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top, and allow to set. When hardened, roughly chop the caramelised walnuts and keep in a small container until needed.
Preheat the oven to 195C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm round cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift the flours, ground aniseeds, bicarb and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
Place the sugars, olive oil, zest and vanilla seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed for about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the wet mix over the sifted dry ingredients and fold with a large rubber spatula. When almost combined, fold in the chopped apples and mix gently. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and into the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan.
For the icing, place the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and airy. Add the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to ice the cake.
When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the tin and transfer to a cake plate. Spread the maple cream cheese icing on top and sprinkle with the chopped caramelised walnuts.
Courtesy of goodfood.com.au