Little Apple Cakes
December 7, 2009
I have a few favourite apples. My top two are Belle de Boskoop and the Pink Lady. Belle de Boskoop are an old-timer of an apple – they are sweet and crunchy and quite large. I see them at farmers markets now and then, but they’re not that easily found. They are the best-flavoured apple for cooking. The Pink Lady is a cultivated apple, a cross between a Lady Williams and a Golden Delicious. Pink Ladies really get around, I see them everywhere. They are a mid-sized apple, tart and crunchy, and great for baking and eating. Use whatever type of apple you like for this recipe, you could even use crapples if that’s what you have in your fridge. For these cakes, I experimented with date powder as the sweetener. It worked very well and gave the cakes a lovely, dark crumb, as if they were baked with brown sugar. Date powder, or date sugar, is simply dehydrated and ground dates. It is an unrefined sweetener that is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Try it, I think you’ll like it.
Makes 12 little 2.5″ x 1.5″ cakes. Recipe is easily doubled to make 12 larger cakes or muffins.
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup date powder
2 tablespoons agave
1 large egg
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into smallish pieces (just eat the remaining half piece of apple while you work)
optional topping: 1/4 cup chopped pecans mixed with 2 teaspoons date powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare small ramekins or baking tins by placing them on a half-sheet pan and lightly oiling with a bit of coconut oil. Set aside until batter is ready. In a small to medium sized bowl, whisk together coconut oil with date powder, agave, egg, almond milk and vanilla extract. In a larger bowl, combine brown rice flour with remaining dry ingredients. Stir apple pieces into dry ingredients and toss to coat. Pour the quite-thick liquid ingredients over top of flour and apple mixture and stir well. This is a thick batter that requires determined stirring to properly combine and distribute the apples evenly. Use a tablespoon to divide batter amongst your baking dishes, using the back of the spoon to spread mixture flat. If you’re going with the cinnamony-sugary pecan topping, sprinkle a bit over each little cake before sliding into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating pan about halfway through. At this point, your kitchen will be cozy and perfumed with the delicious scent of cake and cinnamon, one of the very best smells in the world. The tops of the cakes will spring back slightly when pressed. Remove from oven and allow to rest in dishes until cool enough to handle. Use a thin-bladed knife to loosen cake away from dish, invert to release and enjoy, warm out of hand. Or cool completely and wrap individually and freeze. They will be fully defrosted for your 10:00 am refined sugar-free, gluten-free and guilt-free coffee break.