Monday, October 13, 2014
This cake took three attempts to perfect, but I finally got it. I have altered the original recipe enough in the ingredients as well as the method for preparing it that I can safely call it my own creation. I am really excited about this because since I don't really eat sugar anymore, except in the form of fruit, I miss out on a lot of textures. I don't miss sweet because I get plenty of that from fruit, but baked goods and the textures they produce are something I definitely don't get enough of anymore. Well, here is a cake, with a real, true cakey texture, but with only fruit for sweetener. So, without further ado, here is the recipe, along with notes for why I did what I did.
Apple Spice Cake
1/4 cup butter, softened--You want this to be quite soft, because it's the only fat source in the entire batter, besides the egg, you need it to be able to mix easily into all the dry ingredients. I microwave it until it actually starts to melt, that's how soft you want it.
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large sweet apple, peeled, cored, and grated with the small shred option on a box-grater.--Do this over a bowl to collect any of the juices that will drain out because there will be a lot. I used a large Honeycrisp apple. And by large, I mean one of those "big as your head" apples.
2 cups flour--I put the first cup of flour into a sifter, then added the spices and baking soda and topped it with the second cup of flour and sifted it all together.
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger--This is the key spice. It was my addition and it really adds a warmth that is amazing.
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1 1/2 cups chopped pecans--You could easily use walnuts or omit these altogether if you so desire. Pecans are a naturally sweeter nut, though and that's what I chose to keep them in from the original recipe.
1 cup raisins, chopped--Chopping the raisins is key to the recipe because it allows the sweetness otherwise trapped inside the raisin to permeate the entire batter during the baking process.
1.) Butter a 8"x8" baking dish(I used Pyrex) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.) In a small bowl, mix the butter and egg together(because you can't really cream the butter without adding sugar to it, the butter will be oddly chunky-looking, but this is ok), then add the vanilla, the unsweetened applesauce, and mix well.
3.) In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients except for the pecans and raisins. Add the applesauce-butter mixture all at once and mix until combined, trying not to overwork the batter. Add the grated apple and any collected juices, the pecans and the raisins and mix again until thoroughly combined.
4.) Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes. Use toothpicks to test for doneness. This makes 12 generous servings.
I have not attempted to freeze portions of this but will try with this batch. I don't know why it wouldn't work. I think the next thing I might try, if I wanted to, would be to attempt this recipe with a gluten-free flour mix to see if it will hold up as well. I cannot vouch for that, but if you try it out yourself and it works, please let me know! I am also tempted to try out a version with pear and dried cranberries instead of apples and raisins, but that probably will be for another time...