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.
- 250 g butter room temperature
- 250 g caster sugar
- 150 g fine polenta
- 100 g flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 apples peeled, cored and chopped
- 250 g 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.