Olia Hercules’ Biskvit (Ukrainian Apple Cake)

Chefs and home cooks are coming together to #CookForUkraine.

From the same team who launched #CookForSyria and #BakeForBeirut during earlier conflicts, this latest effort is seeing chefs, food writers, bloggers, restaurants, hotels and bars joining forces to raise money for Unicef UK’s Ukraine appeal, with all proceeds going towards children and families caught up in the conflict.“I don’t want people to get stuck in the headlines and to lose sight of the human beings behind this story,” says food writer Olia Hercules who is one of the chefs leading the campaign, and whose family are still in Ukraine. “And what’s more human than people getting together and sharing food?” Hercules, 38, who has written three cookbooks drawing on the diverse cuisine of her native country, wants the campaign to raise money, but also awareness.

“Ukraine is such a fascinating country that not everybody knew about before this, full of rolling fields and people who love to cook the recipes their grandparents taught them,” she says.
“But it is absolutely urgent that we act now, before too much is lost. What they are experiencing is a tragedy – please help us!”.More than 50 hospitality businesses around London alone have pledged their support, including the Big Mamma Group, Corbyn and King restaurants, Blacklock, Kol, Soho House, St. John, Ottolenghi,
Quo Vadis, Homeslice, Petersham Nurseries, Sabor and Fallow – with £165,000 now already raised for the Unicef fund. Some of these restaurants are donating a portion of of their guests’ bills to fundraising efforts, while others are adding a Ukrainian dish or cocktail to their menus. 

Mother of Oliah Hercules
Members of the public are being encouraged to hold fundraisers of their own – from supper clubs to bake sales – and to cook a Ukrainian dish at home. You can share a picture or recipe with the hashtag #CookForUkraine, and donate any money raised to the campaign’s JustGiving page.
There’s a wealth of gorgeous recipes on the campaign’s JustGiving page or if you’d like to get started with #CookForUkraine immediately, here is a recipe for delicious Biskvit to follow from Olia Hercules.This is one of the easiest cakes to whip up in seconds. If you have a craving for something sweet, make this, Oliah Hercules´s mother called it simply biskvit (a sponge). It is mostly apples, with no butter, some fluffy eggy batter spiced with cinnamon and sprinkled with icing sugar.You cant get much more simple than that.
Biskvit (Ukrainian Apple Cake)
Serves 6
5 eggs
200g caster sugar
200g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 green apples, cored and thinly sliced
Icing sugar to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C
Butter a 22cm cake tin with a removable base.
Beat the eggs and sugar until very fluffy. There is no raising agent in this cake so the amount of air you beat into it is essential.
Gently fold in the flour and cinnamon.
Place the apples at the bottom of the cake tin and pour in the cake batter. Cook for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Dust with some icing sugar and serve.


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