Thursday, 24 April 2014

Recipe: Spiced Apple Cake

This post is a little late in coming...
Some time ago I was the lucky recipient of Tamzin's (at Salad and Sequins) Coconom coconut sugar giveaway and I'd promised to post a recipe I'd made using it.

Coconut sugar is made from evaporated coconut palm sap, and is 'naturally rich in macro and micro nutrients which include; Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, twelve (12) of the essential vitamin B complex and amino acids. The minimal processing of Organic Coconut Sugar preserves it’s nutritious components making it one of the most nutritionally superior sweeteners available. It’s complex carbohydrates are also believed to provide a slower release of the sugars into the bloodstream, offering sustained energy without the “highs” and “lows” of refined, commercially available sugars and sweeteners.'

I made a banana sponge cake a while ago, but I'll admit, it wasn't very photogenic and needed a bit of work. I also used the ginger-infused sugar to make some slow-cooked BBQ pork belly, but again, the recipe needed some tweaking before I'd consider posting it.

This weekend the sugar had its third outing as I thought I'd make a spiced apple cake for my mum's visit over Easter; the result? Pure delicious awesomness!! I've been very, very impressed by the sugar and will definitely look to get hold of some original (rather than flavoured) as I suspect it will be used more often! :)

The recipe below is lower in fat than a standard apple cake, dairy free, made with wholemeal flour for extra fibre and is slightly enriched with Pulsin's Natural Whey Powder for an extra protein boost (and because that stuff is awesome!).

The finished cake is really moist so doesn't keep for more than a few days, but to be honest, it's so good it probably won't last that long anyway ;-)

You will need two 20cm round baking tins - preferably loose-bottomed or springform as this cake could be tricky to get out otherwise!

Preheat the oven to 190 C

500g Bramley (or other cooking) apples, cored, peeled and finely sliced
(toss in 1 tsp lemon juice to prevent them browning!)
250g Wholemeal flour
100g Coconom ginger coconut sugar
250ml Unsweetened almond milk
75ml Groundnut oil
1tsp Baking powder
1tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla paste
2 Large eggs (I used 3 small (with only 2 of the yolks), as my girls lay little ones :) )
40g Pulsin Natural Whey Powder
2 tbsp Smooth Bramley apple sauce
2 tbsp Demerara sugar (to sprinkle on top - optional)

1) Mix the flour, whey powder, baking powder and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
2) Whisk the coconut sugar, almond milk, oil, vanilla and eggs in a separate bowl until frothy.
3) Carefully mix the wet ingredients into the the dry until well-combined and smooth. The mixture will seem very wet.
4) Stir the apples through the batter so they are well covered, and split the mixture between the two cake tins. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top of one of the tins (if using) to give the finished cake a nice crunchy top.
5) Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. The cakes should be risen and an inserted skewer should come out clean with no firmness left to the apples.
6) Allow to cool before removing from the tins.
7) Spread one of the cakes (the one without the demerara) with the apple sauce before carefully placing the second cake on top.

8) I dusted a tiny bit of icing sugar over the finished cake before serving, but naturally this is entirely optional!

Ta dah! x

This will slice into 12 generous servings at 212 cals, 32g carbs, 7g fat and 6g protein per portion.

Another awesome workout day today - I had DOMS in my hamstrings and shoulders after yesterday's yoga, so my ride in was a little slower. After having left 15 minutes late anyway, I only had time for a quick 10 minute run before showering and heading to my desk. That probably wasn't a bad thing though, as I signed up for the 'Body Blast' and Stretching Clinic classes over lunchtime.
Body Blast had me doing mountain climbers, push-ups, burpees, step-ups, punches, lunges, kettlebell swinging and bunny hops in a rather intense 20-minute circuit. It's the first time I've ever done anything like it since school and although I hated it at the time (f'kin burpees!!!), I've felt great afterwards! The stretching was also good and it feels like I've straightened some of the kinks out in my neck that I hadn't realised I had!

Think I might have to take it a little easier tomorrow though - it seems my motivation is a little more enthusiastic than my body after the Easter break!

Today's Workout(s):
Cycling (av speed = 11 mph) = 27 minutes (uphill to work)
Walking (brisk, 3.8 mph) = 7 minutes (5, 2)
Running (slow, 5.4 mph) = 10 minutes (10 non-stop)
'Body Blast' & Stretching = 45 minutes
Cycling = 25 minutes (estimated ride home)

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