Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The more I make apple dishes, the more I miss my mandolin slicer back home. The mandolin and I have a complex, almost paradoxical relationship. I can't begin to tell you how many times that accursed blade drew my right thumb's blood (mine is so old that it didn't even come with the plastic safety handle it comes with now). Even though I end up cursing the plank for the rest of the cooking process, the end product it creates is absolutely beautiful. With that said, I apologize for the uneven apples but I have to tell you the taste of the cake is phenomenal.
This Spiced Apple Cake is low in sugar, fat and made with whole wheat flour. Sounds absolutely disgusting doesn't it? Here's the kicker: we're going to make our own apple purée to sweeten the cake naturally and make this an incredibly healthy apple cake. Full of fiber, dense and moist, this cake is a perfect example of how healthy food doesn't have to be boring food.
Spiced Apple Cake From Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite, Serves 8
Ingredients: (purée) - 5 or 6 (2lbs) of McIntosh or Gala apples - 1/4 cup granulated sugar - 2 tablespoons butter
1) Peel, core and slice the apples. The smaller the slices, the faster it cooks. 2) Place the apples in a wide pan with the sugar and butter. Cook over high heat for 10 - 15 minutes until the apples break down into a pulp. All excess water should be cooked off. 3) Transfer the apple purée to a bowl and cool completely. Set aside.
Ingredients: (cake mix) - 2 Braeburn apples - juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) - 1.33 cups of whole wheat flour - 4 teaspoons baking powder - 0.5 teaspoons baking soda - 0.25 teaspoons salt - 1 cup of brown sugar - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon ground ginger - 0.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg - 0.5 teaspoon ground clove - 1 large egg, lightly beaten - 0.25 cup light olive oil (or vegetable oil) - 2 tablespoons apricot jelly, to glaze - 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water
**PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 325°F**
1) Line and lightly grease (with butter or spray oil) a 9' cake pan. 2) Peel, core and finely slice the Braeburn apples with a mandolin (or if you're ghetto at college like me, use your knife). 3) Place the apple slices in a bowl and add 1.5 tablespoons of the lemon juice with a splash of water and set aside. This will help prevent oxidation and keep the apple's color. 4) In a mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and ground spices. Mix with a whisk to make sure everything is well distributed. 5) Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg, olive oil and apple purée. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. 6) Transfer the mixture to the cake pan and tap the cake pan onto the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Level the top with a spatula and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. 7) Working quickly, overlap the sliced apples in concentric circles on the top leaving a little margin from the side. Brush the apple slices with the remaining lemon juice and return to the oven for another 30 - 35 minutes until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 8) Cool the cake for at least 10 minutes. Mix together the apricot jelly with 1 tablespoon of hot water. Add more water to achieve desired consistency. 9) Brush the top of the cake with the glaze and serve warm.
A delicious way to end any meal, this cake is healthy, full of flavor and definitely delicious.