My parents came back from their holidays (they visited their hometown in southern Spain after almost 40 years!) with quite a lot of typical food (cheese, sweets, etc.) and a big bag of apples, very small, sweet and super cute organic apples. I've never seen this kind of tiny apples before, at least not here in my city. My mom, who knows all too well that I'm always looking for new props, found an elderly man sitting outside his home making wicker baskets and she bought him a small one to put the apples inside. Of course that adorable handamde basket is mine now (sorry mom, but it's gonna stay with me forever)...along with some typical pottery that I'll most probably use in my next blog post. And that just gave me the idea of baking something easy, with a rustic vibe, with apples.
Having that nice basket full of apples in my kitchen gave me the inspiration to bake a lovely, wholesome apple cake, with a good dose of cinnamon and just the right amount of sweetness. I love this type of kinda rustic cakes, I think their beauty lies in their simplicity and how they remind me of those days when our grandmas used to bake these cakes to celebrate birthdays, special holidays and even weddings.
Sometimes the most simple things are the better: just a slice of this very aromatic cake paired with your favorite tea, juice or a cup of milk and your day will suddenly start to get better. Let me dedicate this recipe to those who are going through a rough patch, or are stressed or simply having a bad day. When you get home bake this cake, cut a big piece just for you, enjoy it, sit down and relax...or listen to Slayer at full blast, this helps me a lot! Ha! ;-)
Whole Wheat Apple Cake
(Makes one 21 cm/8.5-inch round cake)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup.
3/4 cup organic apple juice.
1/4 cup mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil.*
1/4 cup natural applesauce.
2 cups whole wheat flour.
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or potato starch).
2 teaspoons baking powder.
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.
1 big Golden Delicious apple, finely sliced.
Apricot jam, for brushing the top.
* See 'Notes'.
Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Lightly grease a round cake pan (21 cm/8.5-inch) with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the maple syrup, apple juice, oil, and applesauce.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, spices and salt.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined using a wire whisk or a silicone spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Cut the apple into thin slices and arrange them over the top of the cake, creating a flower-like pattern (starting from the outside) and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Carefully remove the cake from the pan and using a pastry brush, brush the apples with heated, thinned-down apricot jam.
Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.