Back in 2009 my dear friend Valentina introduced me to Nigel Slater – it was love at first sight. His delicious recipes, beautiful garden and passionate way of speaking about food – clear without being patronizing – were a perfect combination.
I really do not know why it took me so long to buy one of his books, but I certainly started with a wonderful one. This cake is absurdly tender – despite being made entirely with whole wheat flour – and the apples go really well with the marmalade. Great with a cup of tea.
Take a look at Nigel’s website and I’m sure you’ll instantly become a fan, too. :D
Wholemeal apple and marmalade cake
slightly adapted from the gorgeous Tender Volume II
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups (218g) light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1 ¾ cups + ½ tablespoon (250g) whole wheat flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
220g apples – I used Gala apples
125g orange marmalade
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
demerara sugar, for sprinkling (about 2 tablespoons)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm round cake pan*, line the bottom with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, and pour back into the bowl any bits of grain that may remain in the sifter. Peel, core and roughly chop the apples (about 1cm). In a small bowl, mix the apples, marmalade and vanilla.
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition – add 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture if the batter starts to curdle. Scrape the sides of the bowl. In low speed, add the sifted ingredients and mix only until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, fold in the apple mixture. Spoon into the prepared pan – batter will be thick. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
* I used a high pan (8cm) – less than that and it won’t be large enough to hold the batter