About this recipe:This is a delicious two-layer ginger cake that some Polish families have as Christmas cake. It's perfectly spiced and studded with soft apples. The cream cheese icing and extra apples are of course optional, but definitely turn this cake into something extraordinary!
Melt 50g of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the apples; cook and stir until tender. Set aside and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour two 23cm round cake tins.
In a large bowl, mix 175g of butter, honey, dark brown soft sugar and caster sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing each one until blended. Combine the flour, bicarb, cinnamon, mixed spice, cloves, ginger and salt; stir into the batter, alternating with the milk. Stir in the walnuts and cooked apples just until evenly distributed. Divide evenly between the prepared tins and spread evenly.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cakes on a wire rack. Keep the oven on for the walnuts.
To make the candied walnuts for the top of the cake, whip the egg whites in a clean bowl until foamy. Stir in the dark brown soft sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Spread the nuts out on a baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.
To make the icing, mix together the butter, icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Place one layer of cake on a serving plate and spread with a thin layer of the cream cheese icing. Top with most of the preserved apples and spread evenly. Place the other layer of cake on top with the bottom facing up. Spread remaining cream cheese icing over the top and sides. Decorate the top with remaining preserved apples and sprinkle with candied walnuts.