White wine… apples… thyme… When you hear these ingredients together, you would immediately assume that they are about to be turned into a lovely savory dish. Something hearty. Something blokey. Something French.
For the sake of proper evidence, I googled these three ingredients and the first things that pop up are recipes for chicken, pork chops and gravy.
Quod erat demonstrandum
Google does not know what he’s missing. (I’m calling Google a he, since not picking up on stuff is something men tend to do a lot. ) Indeed, white wine, apples and thyme are delicious in savory dishes. You won’t hear me denying that. But once you’ve ever tasted these in a sweet dish, the savory version will be a bit like eating canned ravioli when you know what the real/fresh stuff tastes like.
You might be wondering how I came up with the idea of throwing these three ingredients into a cake. Well, since my last bake was a very traditional one (remember the strawberries and cream roulade?), I really wanted to do something absurd this time. Something with alcohol. So then I started going over the types of booze I had not used in desserts yet (not that many left, I have to admit), and came up with white wine. And since white wine, apples and thyme are such a classic combination, the idea of turning it into a cake kinda created itself.
Needless to say: this cake rocks! The white wine gives the cake a very fruity flavour and adds plenty of richness and moisture. This cake, however, won’t make you drunk. Almost all of the wine evaporates in the oven, but the wine flavour remains. The touch of thyme creates an unusual herby tingling on your tongue and works remarkably well surrounded by sugary ingredients. Moreover, I used apple sauce instead of fresh apples. Not only did this add extra moisture and sweetness, it also was part of my “avoid using butter” plan.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly.
This cake contains no butter. Zero. None. Instead I used apple sauce and Greek yoghurt.
It worked out splendidly! (Surely, I deserve a medal of some sort now? )
- 250 grams self-raising flour
- 150gr Greek yoghurt
- 200gr apple sauce
- 175 grams caster sugar
- 3 large eggs (beaten)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, plus some extra to decorate
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 6 tablespoons white wine, 4 extra tbsp for the drizzle
- Honey, optional
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Mix the yoghurt and sugar together. Gradually add the beaten eggs, then gently fold in the flour and ground almonds. Fold in the apple sauce, the thyme and then the white wine and pour the mix into the tin. Garnish with some extra thyme twigs and drizzle over some honey. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, heat 4 tbsp of wine with 2 tsp of sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour the wine syrup over the hot cake and let it soak up all the yummy liquid.