Monday, November 11, 2013

Apple Lover's Apple Cake

When is a cake not a cake? To me, I always think of cakes as being relatively light, with a good amount of flour (except in flourless chocolate cake), sugar, sometimes eggs and a fat of some kind. But this recipe turned my thinking upside down.

This dessert, inspired by a recipe I found in The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells, is not much more than tons of apple chunks barely bound together by a spelt and flax batter enriched with two new (to me) products: Amoré Almonds + Dairy and Karlene’s Veg-licious Camelina Oil. After baking almost all the way through, a topping of coconut oil, raw sugar and beaten egg gets poured on for a gossamer-thin, crisp, shiny element. I was dubious at best as to how this thing was going to come out - 2/3 of a cup of flour for 5 chunky apples? - but it did bake through into a cohesive mass with a crunchy top and nutty aroma. Cutting into it, though, is best done with a spoon - with so many apples and so little flour, the delicious cake practically falls apart on contact!

So what about those two new foods I played with in this (non)cake? Well, first off, Amoré Almonds + Dairy is essentially a blend of almond milk and skim milk powder, containing protein and 12 essential vitamins and minerals including 50% more calcium than plain cow's milk and 15% of the RDA for Vitamin E. It comes in both original and vanilla varieties, both of which are gluten and soy free. What you will find in Amoré is: fortified almond beverage (cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, canola lecithin, salt, gellan gum, natural flavour, carrageenan, sodium bicarbonate, vitamin A, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin D, vitamin B12), skim milk powder and lactose. It sounds like a lot of ingredients, and it is - but considering that most of those ingredients are in the almond milk (and are in almost every almond milk out there), it is a fairly simple formula (nutritionals below). 

Now, I drink unsweetened almond milk - and find the "regular" kinds like drinking syrup - and for those used to regular milk on their table you may find the same thing with Amoré. The beverage is about the same viscosity of 2% milk, and according to my mom (who tasted it for me) it had a faint nutty flavour but was more sweet than anything. That said, if you love sweetened lattes and sugar in your coffee, or are going to be using it in baking or candy making, it's worth checking out in your area (it's only available in Canada as far as I know, though). I'm going to see if it contains enough dairy to make ricotta and yoghurt, but so far have been pleased with it's performance in the sweet treats I've made, including this cake.

Karlene’s Veg-licious Camelina OilAnd what about the Karlene’s Veg-licious Camelina Oil?  I had never heard of camelina before, but discovered with a bit of Googling that it is also called "false flax" and is quickly becoming the next nutritional oil powerhouse. Unlike flax oil, which degenerates with heat and needs to be kept in the fridge, camelina's smoke point is 475°F and lasts over a year in the cupboard. In addition, it has a prominent (but in no way off putting) aroma and flavour, similar to a combination of toasted pumpkin seeds and walnuts (some people liken it to asparagus but I disagree - it's not as grassy). Health wise, it's rich source of omega 3 fatty acids (1,500 mg per teaspoon) and viatmin E has shown promise in studies looking to decrease blood pressure, elevated total cholesterol and elevated LDL cholesterol. This particular brand is also non-GMO, and is cold-pressed and unrefined (allowing it's delicious full flavour to come through). It's a natural pairing for both fruit-based sweets like this cake as well as savoury dishes like game meats. As a component in a roasted beet and couscous salad, it perfectly enhances the earthiness of the vegetable and would be delicious in roasted potatoes. Like the Amoré, Karlene’s Veg-licious Camelina Oil is only available in Canada from what I can see, but camelina oil can be found in health food stores worldwide.

Now onto the recipe, which I'm sharing with Mouthwatering Mondays!

Apple Lover's Apple Cake
Serves 12
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup hot apple herbal tea (or water)
⅔ cup spelt or whole wheat flour
⅓ cup Pure Via Cup-for-Cup Stevia
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp camelina oil (I used Karlene’s Veg-licious Camelina Oil)
⅓ cup plain Amoré Almonds + Dairy beverage (or unsweetened almond milk)
5 large apples, peeled and chopped

⅓ cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten well
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Whisk together the flaxseed and tea in a small dish. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the flour, stevia, baking powder, and sea salt.
  4. Add the vanilla, oil, and milk, followed by the flax mixture, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the apples and stir to thoroughly coat them with the batter.
  6. Bake until fairly firm and golden, about 25 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, egg, and melted coconut oil. Set aside.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and pour the topping mixture over it. Return the cake to the oven and bake 20 minutes longer.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 155.9
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Cholesterol: 16.5 mg
Sodium: 10.2 mg
Total Carbs: 22.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 2.2 g

1 comment :

  1. This cake sounds great! Love that it's all about the apples!


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