For me, Pesach is anything but eight days. It's an intense five weeks' hard labour; scrubbing and cleaning like a maniac. When I sit at that Seder table, I breathe a sigh of relief, because mind, body and home have had a cleansing like no other. I'm ready to face the year with positivity. This cake keeps well, tightly covered in the fridge.
● 5 large Granny Smith apples
● 250ml water
● 100g pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
● 250g brown sugar
● 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
● 4 eggs
● 250g sugar
● 125ml oil
● 1 tsp vanilla essence
● 250g matzo cake meal
● ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda BP (or Geffen Baking Soda for Passover) dissolved in 65ml water
● 125g raisins
For the toffee sauce:
● 125ml cold water
● 200ml brown sugar
● 125 ml non-dairy creamer
● Preheat the oven to 170 °C.
● Peel, core and cut the apples into eighths and place them in a small saucepan, cover with the water and bring to the boil.
● Once boiling, switch off the heat, stir and cover. Allow the apples to stand in the hot liquid until cool.
● Mix the pecan nuts, sugar and cinnamon well in a bowl and set aside.
● In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Add the oil and vanilla essence and beat until well combined.
● Stir in the matzo meal and dissolved bicarbonate of soda.
● Pour half the batter into a rectangular baking tin (a 20 cm-square foil container will also do) and sprinkle over half of the pecan mixture.
● Combine the apples and raisins and spoon half over the pecan layer.
● Pour over the other half of the batter, followed by the remaining apples and raisins. Sprinkle over the remaining pecan mixture and bake for 1 hour, then switch the oven off and leave it in for 15 -20 minutes.
● To make the sauce, dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat then bring to the boil. If using white sugar, allow the sugar to turn a caramel colour. Remove from heat and add creamer. Mix well and pour over cake as it comes out of the oven.