Monthly Archives: March 2012

Effortless Apple Cake

A slightly different version of this cake has appeared in these pages before, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to redo it with these pretty pictures. This is a gluten-free and veganized version of one of my mother’s recipes, which is different from most apple cakes I have eaten in that it really mostly consists of just apples. The original recipe is flavored mainly with cardamom, but here I use our magic ingredient of the moment – apple pie spice. It contains cinnamon, fenugreek, lemon peel, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, and can take any oatmeal or apple dessert to a whole new level. Yum!

Gluten-free, vegan, effortless apple cake

  • 3 small/medium somewhat tart apples, chopped into smallish chunks (No need to peel, unless you really want to)
  • squish of lemon juice
  • 200 ml flour – I used half gluten-free flour blend and half sweet rice flour
  • 150 ml sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (if using liquid, then mix it with the melted butter)
  • generous sprinkling of apple pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum (you can omit this if using a gluten-free flour blend which already contains some)
  • 60 ml melted butter/butter alternative
  • 3-4 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce, or as needed

Chop the apples into small-ish chunks. It should add up to approximately 1 liter of apple chunks. Squish some lemon over them to prevent browning.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add apples and stir to coat.

Melt “butter” and pour over the apples. Stir. Add apple sauce until you don’t see dry specks of flour anymore and you have a bowl full of apples coated in a relatively thin layer of smooth batter.

Spread into a square pan, flattening the apples into the pan with the back of the spoon. Bake for 45 min or so at 190C, until knife comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Enjoy!

(sorry, by the time it was done the good natural light was gone..)

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Pumpkin seed butter.

I used to envy people who weren’t allergic to nuts for being able to eat almond butter. It seemed so satisfying. Then, in Toronto, I discovered that I need not pine for almond butter – I could eat pumpkin seed butter instead! Canadian health food stores stock pumpkin seed butter from a company called “Nuts to you”. It had a somewhat odd brownish-green color, but is totally addictive. When I served it to out-of-town guests, they invariably ended up bringing a jar home, and personally I went through literally a jar of this stuff every week, eating it for breakfast on rye bread, with honey on top, and eating it by the spoonful out of the fridge as a snack.

I’ve missed it sorely here in Norway, now that I have gone through the stash I brought from Canada. But no more need for that – because pumpkin seeds + food processor = pumpkin seed butter 🙂

Pumpkin seed butter

  • 350 g pumpkin seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • <1 tsp sea salt

I find that raw pumpkin seeds have a slightly unpleasant bitterness to them, so I prefer to toast them first. (The Nuts to You version that I used to buy was also made from pre-toasted seeds.) Thus, the first step is to spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking dish and toast them for 15 minutes or so at 150C. Then, you let them cool.

Once they have cooled, you put them in your food processor, and just let it run for a LONG time. First, they will turn into an increasingly fine powder. Then, the powder will start to clump. Around this time, I would add the coconut oil, while the food processor is running. Throughout, you will need to stop the food processor at regular intervals to push the stuff back down, as it tends to get pushed to the side and out of reach of the spinning blades. Eventually (maybe 7-10 minutes? I didn’t keep track), you will have pumpkin seed butter, which you can scoop into a container. It will initially be quite runny, but it will set in the fridge to a relatively solid, but still spreadable, texture.

Eat on bread, with honey on top (this picture features my home-made gluten-free bread):