A tasty apple cake with a surprise inside - perfect little red apple hearts from Hidden Rose apples.
Prepare the apple hearts: Slice the Hidden Rose apple from top to bottom (no need to peel or core it) into thin 1/4 inch slices. Using a small (approximately 1 1/2 inch) heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the apple into heart-shaped pieces, working gently around the core. (It's fine if some of the hearts have pieces of peel in them.) Set the heart pieces aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a small loaf pan (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") by greasing it and dusting it with a light coating of flour. Set aside.
Beat oil and sugar together in an electric mixer. Add eggs and mix until creamy.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add vanilla and grated apples and stir gently to blend.
Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan, making sure that it covers the bottom. Then gently place the hearts vertically lined up into the batter, making a complete row down the length of the pan. Pour the remaining batter over the top to cover the hearts.
Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or until golden brown, and a toothpick that is inserted comes out clean. Slice carefully to reveal the hearts.