I have been meaning to make Ottolenghi’s stylish little tea cakes for over a year now. I even have a barely used mini bundt tray languishing in my kitchen cupboard, originally purchased in anticipation of the event. Today was finally going to be the day to bake them. I retrieved my copy of Ottolenghi The Cookbook from the bookshelf, flipped it open and realised I didn’t quite have all the necessary ingredients in my pantry.
No matter. There is a recipe in the same book for a gorgeous Apple and Olive Cake. The original recipe calls for its assembly as a layer cake. Complete with a maple cream cheese frosting. Absolutely divine. Here is my reinterpretation of that cake. Baked in a mini bundt tray. Sans maple cream cheese frosting. Simply dusted with a little icing sugar. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon tea.
Little Apple and Olive Oil Tea Cakes
Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook
Makes 12 Teacakes
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons water
280g (1 5/6 cups) plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120ml olive oil
160g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 small granny smith apples, cut into 1cm dice
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 egg whites
PLACE the sultanas, brandy and water in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat until the water has been absorbed. Cool.
GENEROUSLY grease and flour a 12 hole mini bundt tin, tapping out excess flour.
PREHEAT oven to 170 C
SIFT together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
IN A SEPARATE bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla.
ONCE smooth and thick add the diced apples, sultanas and zest. Fold the sifted ingredients into the oil mixture.
WHISK the egg whites in a clean bowl until they are a soft meringue texture. Fold them gently into the mixture.
POUR the batter evenly into the prepared mini bundt tin. It will be very dense with a large volume of apples. When filled tap the tin gently on the kitchen bench to distribute the batter and smooth the top with a palette knife. Any excess batter left over after filling the bundt tin (this will depend on the size of your tin) can be poured into a lined muffin tin.
BAKE for 25 minutes, middle oven rack position, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
REMOVE from the oven, allow to cool in the tin a little before transferring onto wire rack to cool completely. Give each of the teacakes a little twist to help release them from from the mini bundt tin.
DUST with a little icing sugar to serve.