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Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple, Cinnamon and Walnuts Cake

I’ve been reading and browsing through The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur lately. Oh, the food looks so amazing. I made a Chocolate and Halva yeast cake based on a recipe from this book (it’s so gorgeous and I’ll post about it soon). I can’t wait to make the Shawarma (meat marinated in curry powder and garam masla) ) and Shakshuka (a dish of Lybian origin with tomatoes, hot sauce and eggs)… “In less than thirty years,” Janna Gur writes, “Israeli society has graduated… to a true gastronomic haven.”

In her book she gives a full, delectable justice to the significance of Israeli food today–Mediterranean at its heart, richly spiced, and imbued with cross-cultural flavors.
In Gur’s captivating introduction, she describes Israeli food as a product of diverse cultures: the Jews of the Diaspora, settling in a homeland that was new to them, brought their far-flung cuisines to the table even as they looked to their Arab neighbors for additional ingredients and ideas. The delicious, easy-to-follow recipes represent all of these influences, and include some creative interpretations of classics by celebrated Israeli chefs: Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad, Fish Falafel in Spicy Harissa Mayonnaise, Homemade Shawarma, Chreime–North African Hot Fish Stew, Roasted Chicken Drumsticks in Carob Syrup.

Apple, Cinnamon and Walnuts Cake

Recipe adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur
For a 24 cm/10 inch springform pan

4-5 medium size apples, peeled and cored (I used Pink Lady and Honeycrisp)
Juice of half a lemon
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons calvados or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup oil (I used canola)
¾ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
For dusting: 2 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

Cut 3 apples into ½-inch dice. Slice the remaining 1-2 apples into thin wedges, sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside.
Sift the flour with cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Using an electric mixer beat the eggs, sugar, brandy/calvados, and vanilla extract until pale and thick, about 8 minutes.
Lower the speed and gradually add the oil and then the flour mixture.

Fold in the diced apples and walnuts and pour batter into a well-greased baking pan. Arrange the apple wedges in the center of the cake into a flower pattern. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top.

Bake for 60-70 minutes until the cake is golden and s toothpick comes out dry with a few crumbs adhering.
Cool for 10 minutes, release from pan and cool completely on rack.

More cakes for the weekend here. For example:
Black Forest Chocolate Roulade
Cocoa-Marzipan Pound Cake
Rose-orange cheesecake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Blueberry crumb cake

Have a wonderful weekend,

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