I thought that I'd play around with this Humble Apple Cake I found in our local Community Mercantile (natural health foods store) newsletter that comes out monthly. While I originally thought the cake looked pretty good and healthy to boot when I first glanced at it, AND IT IS, I couldn't help myself and really kick this up.
Humble Apple Cake, adapted from Nancy O'Connor's Rolling Prairie Cookbook (1998)
Yep, pretty humble, I'd say. I made a few changes from the original recipe. It called for honey. I used agave nectar. I made homemade buttermilk (adding some lemon juice to 2% milk and let sit for 5 minutes) and I added some cinnamon. I was rather surprised this apple cake didn't have cinnamon! Humble. But I was excited to try it as it was healthy and low fat with whole wheat pastry flour, no refined sugar, a minimal amount of oil and only egg whites.
The cake is cakey. Duh. And it's apple-y. Duh. Oh, it's also a little nutty. There's walnuts. But it just wasn't enough. Hmmm. What could I do? (Smiling and smirking to myself, I knew exactly what I was going to do.
Caramel. But, hmmm? Is that enough? Of course not. It's me talkin' here. What would I normally do to something? Anyone? Anyone? Ice. Scream. Yeah, that's it!
Or in this case, I used a fat free frozen yogurt--you know, to stick with the "healthy" theme of this dessert. It was also a fat free caramel ice cream topping, if that matters. This was really good--and there wasn't even chocolate in it! ;)
Humble Apple Cake, with caramel topping and frozen yogurt, adapted by Katrina from Nancy O'Connor's "Rolling Prairie Cookbook"
6 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup agave nectar (honey or even sugar would work)
2 large egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup 2% milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice (sit for 5 minutes to make homemade buttermilk)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups apples, unpeeled and chopped to 1/4 inch dice (I used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Golden Delicious--any kind is fine)
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. (Or just spray the pan--I like foil for easy release!) (The original recipe said to use a 7 1/2 x 12 inch pan, 9x13 worked fine!)
Whisk together the oil and agave (or honey/sugar). Add egg whites, vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk together well. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in to wet ingredients. Stir in apples and nuts. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Remove from pan using foil edges. Cut into desired size slices. Serve with warm caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt! Mmm!