The cake is lovely, but in an unfancy 'cucina rustica' kind of a way - Nigella Lawson
The verdict: This is one great cake. I was a bit worried about it during the making of it, for a whole range of reasons, but it turned out so well, in so many ways!Unusual or substituted ingredients: Nigella warns that walnut oil is expensive - in fact, she says not to buy it specially for the cake, and suggests using olive oil instead - which is exactly what I did! I also did not use the walnuts, as I'm not a huge fan of them. So I guess it's really just an apple cake - although it's not "just" an apple cake! Nigella also specifies using Cox apples. I just used what I had in the fruit bowl - 2 pink ladies and a granny smith. And I think I forgot to put in the cinnamon (whoops!)
Special utensils or cookware: Nothing special except for a 20cm springform tin - which of course I don't have! I've used bigger tins before and the cake hasn't quite worked, so I used my old faithful ring tin instead - and hoped like heck the cake wouldn't stick - I made sure I greased and floured the tin thoroughly! And it worked (phew!)
Repeatability: Oh I would definitely make this cake again - it was a highly successful cake, made for a work morning tea - and it keeps so well, it was also afternoon tea, and then morning tea again the next day. I'm sure it would keep for 3-5 days in cool weather!
Sauciness: I possibly used a bit too much apple - because when I mixed the apples in with the rest of the cake mix, it didn't seem to mix too well - the apple was hardly even coated. Nigella says the mix will be "stiff" but this was ridiculous!! Fortunately it settled, and expanded, nicely when cooked!
Overall pleasure level: This was fabulous, appley, with just a hint of rum and a very nice, moist texture - 8/10 for me!