I went to pick up my CSA share at the farm the other day and noticed a sign inviting the shareholders to pick their own apples from a tree behind the farm house. Since I enjoy picking apples and had some time on my hands, I decided to check it out. Out back there was a huge tree with green apples. These apples are not as tart as Granny Smiths, so they’re good for both snacking and baking. I tend to make desserts that store well in the freezer and travel nicely in a lunch box or picnic basket, so I decided to make an apple cake. I wanted to experiment with aquafaba, the liquid from chickpeas and beans that usually gets poured down the drain. I used a recipe (circa 1973) from Woman’s Day magazine as my starting point. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I like to keep desserts as “whole food” as possible. For this recipe I used dates and maple syrup instead of sugar, whole wheat pastry flour and limited the amount of coconut oil to 1/4 cup. It’s been my experience that cakes made without dairy and eggs tend to have a rubbery or gummy texture. Add some weighty ingredient, like apples, and it’s a safe bet the cake will be a little on the dense side. The key to preventing this cake from being too weighed down was to whip the aquafaba into soft peaks and fold it into the other ingredients. The result was a cake that was moist, slightly sweet with a tender texture. This cake will be a staple in our home this fall. Pick a peck (or two) of apples, make an Apple Date Nut Cake and make it a Vegi-curious day!
Apple Date Cake
- 1 cup dates
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated apples
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 6 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from chickpeas or white beans)
- 1/8 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a tube pan with coconut oil.
In food processor, combine dates, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Process until dates are finely ground. Pour into large mixing bowl.
Whisk coconut oil, milk, syrup and vanilla in medium bowl. Stir in apples and walnuts; add to dry ingredients and mix well.
In a separate bowl, beat aquafaba with xanthan gum until soft peaks form. Fold into batter. Place into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted comes out almost dry. Let cool in pan about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.
29 Aug 2015