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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Simple Apple Cake

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Happy Mother's Day! I hope that all of you are celebrating those wonderful women who supported you and always had little bits of advice at the ready for tough times because I know I am. My family and I are going out for dinner this evening at my mom's (and my) favorite restaurant in Charleston, Monza. Rather than eating dessert there, I thought it would be even more pleasant to linger over something sweet on the porch at home.

My dad is on a diet, and the rest of us generally eat pretty well. I wanted him to be able to indulge as well, as the act of sharing a meal is just as important as the meal itself. I thumbed through Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking in hopes of finding something enticing and light. Many of the recipes caught my eye, but none of them were low enough in calories.


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I still wanted to use one of her recipes, so I hopped on the internet to search the archives of 101 Cookbooks. Lord almighty. The dessert section of her website is a virtual treasure trove of recipes and information. I wrote down at least ten things that I need to make in the very, very near future. Some of the treats require ingredients that are more obscure, like teff flour, and that I didn't have on hand. Lucky for me, this sweet cake was waiting for me near the top of the list, ready to be whipped up.

While it bakes, the most gorgeous scent pours out of the oven and fills the entire house. Glamourous sugar crystals highlight the rustic nooks and crannies of the top of the cake, and tiny chunks of apples poke out here and there. The flavor is wholesome and not too sweet, and the texture is glorious, almost like a steamed pudding. This cake is really great- uncomplicated, figure friendly, and so delicious.


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Simple Apple Cake

Serves 12

2 cups crisp apples (peel on)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark Muscovado sugar (I used my mortar and pestle to grind dark cane sugar)
1/2 fine grain sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons large grain sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the buttermilk and the eggs together in a separate bowl and add the melted butter, whisking to combine. Pour the liquid ingredients over top of the dry ingredients and gently stir together, careful not to over-mix. Dice the apples and fold them into the batter. Spread the batter in the cake pan. Sprinkle sugar over the surface of the batter. Put the cake onto the center rack of the oven and bake for twenty-five minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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