I love making oil based cakes as they retain a moist melt in the mouth texture. By incorporating vegetables and fruit you create a denser texture but the oil ensures a lighter finish.I used duck eggs as I had them in the fridge and know that some bakers swear they make better cakes. Use hen’s eggs of course if you don’t have ducks readily available. Using a good quality stone-ground plain wholemeal flour here adds a deeper nutty texture to the sponge plus it just wouldn’t be the same with white. I usually leave the skin on eating apples when I grate them but go ahead and peel them if you prefer. This is the perfect way to use up slightly wrinkly apples from your fruit dish.
Makes 12 generous slices
Before you start line a 24cm round cake tin with silicone paper. Give the sides a bit of height with paper if the tin is not that deep.
For the cake
3 ducks eggs, separate the whites and yolks
150g runny honey
125ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
2 sweet red eating apples, cored and grated
150g carrot, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
225g fine stone-ground plain wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
I lemon, zest and juice
75g chopped pistachio nuts
200g *Philadelphia light cream cheese at room temperature
Honey to taste (I used a teaspoon)
Lemon zest (see above)
25g coconut powder
Place the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and whisk until its stiff enough to form stiff peaks. If you are using a stand mixer transfer the whites to another bowl for later. Add the egg yolks, honey and oil to the bowl and whisk on high until the mixture looks creamy. Using the beater gently fold in the apple and carrot. Mix the spices, flour and raising agents together and fold into the batter with the lemon zest and pistachios. Finally stir in the egg whites. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared baking tin and place in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove when the cake is firm to touch. Remove from the tin after 5 minutes and cool on a rack. Now make the topping. Mix the cream cheese in a bowl and add the honey and lemon zest. Sieve in the coconut powder and chill until required. When the cake is cool remove the silicone paper and top with the cream cheese frosting. Decorate with ground pistachio’s. I also used some dried cornflower petals which you can buy in some specialist food shops or online here.
*I don’t usually specify brands but a lot of own label cream cheeses have stabilisers in them. As soon as you mix them they break down and make the icing runny. Very annoying. Philadelphia is more stable which means you can use the light version and keep the creamy texture. For vegans use coconut cream instead.