Pecan and Apple Cake

This cake is a real delight.  It is light yet moist and has a delicious cinnamon frosting but best of all I think is the little apple surprise inside every slice.


Preheat the oven to 175°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F)

To make the cake :

Whisk the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy then add the eggs one by one.  Sift the flour, salt, spice and baking powder and fold in gently.  Finally add the nuts.

Transfer the mix to the prepared cake tin and level out.

Quickly prepare the apples and starting at the join of the tin (or some recognisable place) place the apples, core side down into the mix – at 12 oclock, 6 oclock, 2 oclock, 4 oclock, 8 oclock and 10 oclock (or spaced evenly 8 times).

Bake for about 40 minutes until the centre of the cake is springy to the touch and golden brown.

The apples should almost disappear and be covered by the cooked cake.  Take the cake from the tin but before you do, place a wooden toothpick at the place where you placed the first apple piece.  Allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.

To make the frosting –

Put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and keep stirring until the sugar is dissolving.  With an electric hand whisk – whisk the mixture for about 6 minutes until you have a thick pale caramel coloured mix.  Take from the pan and continue to whisk until cool.

Place the room temperature butter in a separate bowl and whisk with the cinnamon until well creamed then add the whisked up whites a large spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition.  You will achieve a deliciously smooth frosting which will be applied to the cake when cool.

When ready to decorate cover the top of the cake in the frosting then the sides, making special note of where you inserted the wooden skewer.  I think the frosting looks better not too perfect.  Place one pecan nut above where you have inserted your skewer then it is easy to determine where the other seven need to go.  In this way each serving will contain a piece of apple.

Note :-  The frosting can be tricky and I have known it separate slightly – this is due to the meringue mix and the butter not being exactly the same temperature.  Don’t worry if this happens, simply take 1 tbsp of the mix, place in a non metallic pot, microwave on high for 10 seconds.  The mixture will turn to a thick liquid – pour this over the mixture in the main bowl and whisk.  The whole lot will return to a smooth, velvety texture.  Phew !!

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