Apple and calvados cake recipe by Fergus Henderson

A wonderful all-rounder.

To serve 12
free-range eggs 3
vegetable oil 350ml
caster sugar 450g
salt ½ tsp
cinnamon 1 tsp
ground cloves ½ tsp
bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
plain flour 425g
walnuts 140g, finely chopped
bramley apples 4, peeled and finely chopped
calvados 3 tbsp

For the mist
Breton cider 150ml
caster sugar 10g
calvados 1 tbsp

Line a 23cm diameter cake tin with baking parchment and set aside. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk as you slowly incorporate the vegetable oil, then add the dry ingredients and whisk them into the egg mixture. Throw in the nuts, apples and calvados and fold so that all the nubbles are evenly coated.

We must stress that, at this point, your mixture will not look right. It will look as though you have too little batter, of too loose a consistency, too lightly coating too much apple and nuts. Believe in us! This is correct. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake in a medium oven (about 160C fan/gas mark 4) for 1½ hours.

When you have removed this glorious cake from the oven, make the mist by putting all the components into a pan over a medium heat. As soon as it has reached a boil, pour the mist over the cake and serve the slices warm, with chantilly cream.

From The Book of St John by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver (Ebury, £35)