When I was in Cape Town for the launch and some publicity for my new cookbook, I visited a friend that I have been dying to see for a really long time. This friendship was started on Twitter (which is happening more and more often) and as I drove to her house, I couldn’t wait to see her home, meet the dog I had heard so much about and eat an apple cake she tweeted a picture of earlier. This friend is the incredible Errieda du Toit. Food writer extraordinaire and PR Queen and has so aptly called herself “Huiskok” (Home cook in Afrikaans).
When I entered her house I felt right at home with a big, brown and beautiful labrador meeting me with a hug and a kiss and her darling husband, Ian immediately offering a cup of tea (he calls himself “SlaafKok” (Slave Cook) as Errieda makes him work in the kitchen). Errieda and I spent a good 3 hours chatting, drinking tea and eating the most delicious Apple & Olive Oil cake and I fell even more in love with her. She is warm, motherly and completely fabulous. And so, I dedicate this cake to her, her dog and her husband.
I made this cake with polenta as I really love the texture it adds but to give it a lightness, decided to add a little flour as well. I used 3 apples but feel free to add more if you want a more intense apple flavour. Serve this cake with strong coffee and a dollop of vanilla Crème fraîche for the perfect afternoon treat.
- 250g butter, room temperature
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g fine polenta
- 100g flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 250g Crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- seeds from one vanilla pod/ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and line a (+-) 20cm cake pan with baking paper.
- Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix together the polenta, flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
- Add the polenta mixture and the eggs alternating between the two beginning and ending with the polenta mixture, to the sugar and butter and mix well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla and chopped apples and mix well.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and place in the oven.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out with moist crumbs. If the cake browns too much for your liking, simple place a piece of tin foil over the top half way through baking.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out.
- Serve with vanilla Crème fraîche.