Spring has well and truly made a home in our neck of the woods. The trees are sprouting with new life with green leaves and tiny buds. New life is always such a pleasure to behold. The fruit trees in our small garden are in full blossoming mode. The days are now longer and brighter. We have had continuous days of bright blue skies and sunshine; touchwood!
Of course, we love spring and won’t complain about it making an early entry, but the fact remains that we did not have much of a winter this year. In all of the decade that we have lived in this country, this is the first year that we have not seen snowfall in our region. Not that I miss the hazardous drives and walks over dangerously slushy, slippery roads, but there is something to be said about the weather of a particular region not behaving the way it should, right? And, perhaps, some part of me does miss the beauty of a snow clad landscape; the joy on the children’s faces, their loud ‘wheeing’ as they slide down snowy slopes on their sleds; the innumerable snow men/women/ built in front of homes and in the parks; the snowball fights;the arguments over snowy boots brought inside the house;the relishing of steaming soups to warm up the cold bodies; all these have become so much a part of our lives. Yes, nature did behave a bit unusually this year.
Coming back to the present, bright, lovely weather means that one desires to spend more time outdoors than in front of a hot oven. The following Spiced apple and cashew cake is very simple to make, and does not require long hours of preparation.
It is not overtly sweet and came out moist and light with a slight hint of cinnamon. It is great for a snack with a cuppa or a glass of milk/juice. It can also be a great addition to a lunch box, not to mention sneaking it into picnic baskets too! I used Red Delicious apples; they held their shape beautifully and added a nice bite to the cake. Feel free to experiment with other varieties of apples too.
Here’s how I made the spiced apple and cashew cake-
3/4 C dark brown sugar
1/2 C of sunflower/vegetable oil
1/2C of cashew nuts, ground to the consisteny of coarse semolina
1C of chopped apple ( I used 1 large Red Delicious, peeled and cored and chopped) soaked in cold water mixed with the juice of 1/4 of a lemon
5 or more slightly thin slices of apple, peeled and cored, for the top
3/4C of whole wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Icing sugar for dusting on top (optional)
- Pre heat the oven at 170 deg C (my oven is fan assisted) and line an 8inch round baking pan with foil.
- In a bowl, mix together the ground cashews, flour, ground cinnamon and baking powder.
- In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, sugar and oil till everything is mixed well.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the egg mixture. Fold in till everything is just mixed together.
- Drain the chopped apple and fold into the cake mixture. Do not over mix.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.
- Arrange the apple slices on top.
- Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted through the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan over a rack for a few minutes and then remove the foil and cool completely on the rack.
- Dust the top with a little icing sugar (optional), slice and enjoy as a tea time snack, or add them to lunch boxes/picnic baskets.
Until next time,,