Michelle Dar­mody

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside -

2 eggs

170g golden caster sugar

1 tsp of vanilla essence

1/2 tsp of al­mond essence

85g of but­ter

75 mls of milk

125g of plain flour

2 tsp of bak­ing pow­der

3 bit­ter red ap­ples, cored and cut into thin slices

the juice of 1 small lemon

Pre­heat the oven to 200C and line an 9in tart tin.

Half the ap­ples and core them. Slice each half thinly, you now have a collection of semi cir­cle moon-shaped slices.

Th­ese are too stiff to roll into a rose just yet. Add the juice of a lemon to a pint of wa­ter in a bowl and bring to a sim­mer. Add all of the ap­ples and al­low them to soften. You need to be able to bend them but they do not need to be mushy at all.

Gen­tly strain the ap­ples. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and al­mond essence un­til the mix­ture is thick and light and fluffy and the whisk leaves a pat­tern when it is lifted out. Melt the but­ter in a saucepan, stir in the milk, fold this into the egg mix­ture.

Sift in the flour and bak­ing pow­der and also fold th­ese care­fully into the mix­ture.

Scoop the cake bat­ter into the pre­pared tin and smooth the sur­face.

Roll the first ap­ple slice into a cylin­der and then add a few more around it to form petals. Have the red skin fac­ing up. Place this rose down into the bat­ter mix­ture to­wards the edge . A knife across laid across the top of the tin can hold the rose in place for you. Re­peat with the rest of the ap­ple slices.

Sprin­kle some caster sugar over the cake and bake in the oven for ten min­utes, then re­duce the oven tem­per­a­ture to 180C and bake for a fur­ther 20 min­utes or un­til the bat­ter has risen and is golden.

Re­move from the oven and al­low to cool be­fore gen­tly re­mov­ing from the the tin.

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