I had planned to make this cake for Christmas day, but my Gingerbread Mansion took up a lot more time than expected so I had to make it later on. I was making my first ever Iranian meal and decided that we would also have to have some sort of dessert as well.
I chopped up the walnuts and peeled, cored and grated the apple ready to go into the mixture. The recipe is pretty easy: essentially you throw everything except the cinnamon and apples into a bowl and whisk it together until it is thoroughly blended. Then you pour half the mixture into the cake tin, spread the apple and cinnamon on top of that, and then spoon the remaining cake mixture on top. That’s, literally, how easy it’s meant to be. I put the cake into the oven and carried on with the main courses while it baked.
We have a new oven in our kitchen, a beautiful double oven that I adored, until now. During the first attempt at this cake (yes – there were two attempts!), I did what I always do: set the timer and go off to do something else until the alarm goes off. Usually an extra few minutes is needed but generally, this method has always worked for me.
This time, I smelt something that wasn’t that beautiful baking scent and went back to the kitchen 15minutes earlier to investigate. The cake was burnt – not just a little burnt – a lot burnt! I had no idea what went wrong: the temperature was right, the time was right – I couldn’t explain it.
With a broken heart I took the cake out and dejectedly popped open the tin to look at the damage. My mum, who was teaching me how to cook the Iranian main course ate some and deemed it edible, but I refused to serve it – I’m the cake queen; I was determined to try again.
Thankfully I was at a point in cooking the main course where I could stop; I had planned to have a cup of tea in front of the telly but I resorted to a glass of wine and a grim-faced second attempt at the cake. This time I turned the temperature down slightly and set the timer for 30 minutes.
I quickly checked the cake once the alarm went off and thankfully, it wasn’t burnt … but it wasn’t cooked either. I quickly slammed the door shut and set the timer for 15minutes at a time until it had cooked. I left it to cool while I made the rest of the food.
The rest of the meal went really well and everyone was amazed that I managed to not only cook so much, but make it taste almost as good as my mums (lets be real – no one can cook as well as her!). When it came to serving the dessert, I was so happy that it hadn’t burnt that I completely forgot to sprinkle a little light muscovado sugar and icing sugar on top before cutting everyone a slice.
The cake was beautiful – not too sweet, not too cinnamon-y, the layer of apple in the middle also made it beautifully moist. I’m not the biggest fan of sultanas so would probably cut them out if I made the cake again.