I’ve been sick the past few days with the worst sore throat and achy fever I’ve had in recent memory. As of this morning, however, I was finally able to swallow without a stabbing scratching pain going down my esophagus, so I’m actually getting better, hurray!! Time seems to slow down when you’re sick, you forget what it ever felt like to just feel normal and not have a nagging pain or exhaustion hovering over you at all times. Food tastes bland; you know you’re hungry and should eat something – anything – for strength, but everything you think of eating just sounds unappetizing. In summation: being sick is just the worst. While I was laying in bed writing and working through my fever spikes, I kept thinking back to this cake. I made it right before I got sick and it was just *so* wonderfully rich and cozy (I think the memory of it comforted me a bit, good food tends to have that effect!) I made it for a harvest party at my friend Sasha’s parents’ house and managed to get a little slice of it before it was inhaled within a 10-minute period (always a good sign).
The apples in this cake were so soft they were almost pudding-like, with the most delicious hint of caramel. This is because I made and poured a whole bunch of caramel into the bottom of the cake pan before placing the apples on it, and then pouring the cake batter over the caramel and apples. It was a good plan. The batter is wonderful in its own way, too – it relies on olive oil rather than butter for the fat, which delivers a smooth and rich flavor without weighing down the cake and making you feel heavy after eating it. It feels light and airy and has a subtle nuttiness to it, I used California Olive Ranch’s ‘everyday’ blend for it, this particular blend of olive oil has hints of green apple and a floral nose which paired perfectly with the baked apples in the cake. I also used some almond meal in the batter which ended up imparting a ‘toasted’ flavor onto the cake once it baked up in the oven. And there’s orange zest (lots) and vanilla extract, too. Pretty much all the good stuff. It’s the perfect way to welcome the first apple harvest of fall, which has just arrived in full force here in Oregon. I’m looking forward to those rainy autumn days, nothing pairs quite as well with the pitter patter of rain hitting the window sill like the smell of apples and cake baking in the oven 🙂