When the icy winds are blowing – Apple Cake With Ricotta, Walnuts and Madeira

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 The Siberian wind is sweeping my garden, all the leaves I have left where they landed are being swept into nooks and corners and makes it easier for me when I have to start preparing the garden for the Spring Ball that hopefully will be announced soon. As it stands now, all we hear about is snow and threats of snow. And if that comes true, it means that we are cut off from the world here up on the hill. I am not amused because I need to go Milan to finish that Easter job. Keep your fingers crossed please.

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 But when the icy wind is blowing and I can hear the blinds shake, I know it’s time to bake something. And this time I knew it would be an apple cake because I had bought a kilo of apples just because I wanted the basket they were put in for a prop and I did it even though I knew that no one in the house like that variety of apple. Prop crazy. But they are good for baking and cooking, well almost all apples are in my opinion, especially if you give them a little help on the way like here, a dash of Madeira, some sugar and butter lends a luxurious taste to the apples! 

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 APPLE CAKE WITH RICOTTA, WALNUTS AND MADEIRA

3 eggs
200 ml/ 0,85 cup sugar
125 g/ 4,4 ounce fresh ricotta
100 ml/ 0,42 cup sunflower oil
a pinch of salt
100 ml/ 0,42 cup light wholewheat flour but you can use normal flour instead
200 ml/ 0,85 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
topping
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
a knob of butter
6 tbsp Madeira wine, you can use sherry or port if you don’t have Madeira at hand
4 tbsp demera sugar
50 g/ 1,75 ounce chopped walnuts

   Start with the topping: melt the butter in a skillet, add the apples, the madeira and the sugar and cook gently until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts and put aside.

   Whisk eggs and sugar fluffy and then add the ricotta by pressing it through a wide-meshed sieve. Mix well and add the sunflower oil.

   Sift the flours, baking powder and salt into the batter and stir until smooth. Pour batter into a a greased baking tin, spread out the apple topping and bake in a pre-heated oven (175°C/350°F) for about 30 minutes, keep an eye on it and check if it is ready with a toothpick.

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