I love breaking traditions and making new ones. Yet another delicious, offbeat approach to a very classic dessert.
Makes 8 servings
1 recipe Sure Fire White Cake (recipe follows)
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and cored
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice combined with 2 cups water
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir apples in lemon water to prevent discoloring. Drain fruit well in a colander and set aside.
Place rice syrup and oil in a skillet that can be transferred to the oven. Cast iron works well. Stir apples into rice syrup mixture, taking care to coat the fruit well. Spread evenly over skillet surface. Place over medium heat and warm through. Fruit will begin to release juice. Continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fruit should become brown and caramelized and should pierce easily with a fork. You may need to adjust a bit higher during cooking; mixture should bubble vigorously or juices will not brown--but take care not to burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Arrange the cooked apple slices attractively in a ring in the same skillet.
Prepare cake batter and immediately spoon over cooked fruit, spreading lightly to evenly coat the surface, but try to not disturb fruit. Bake on the center rack in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Cake should be nicely browned and a toothpick should come out clean. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 4-5 minutes. Center a serving plate over skillet and invert cake onto the surface. If any fruit pieces or juices remain in the skillet, simply spoon over the cake surface. If fruit is not sufficiently browned, briefly place under the broiler until just tinged with brown. Do not burn. Let cake stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
NOTE: Be sure to use a well-seasoned iron skillet or no-reactive skillet. If no skillet is available, transfer caramelized fruit to a 10 inch pie plate or casserole and continue the recipe as indicated.
Sure-Fire Basic White Cake
This completely whole grain cake really is a winner. Bake this just once and you will see that desserts can be delicious without compromising your food choices. Not only a great vanilla cake, I use this as the base recipe for all my other cakes, building and changing ingredients for each recipe.
Makes 1 standard cake
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup semolina flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2-2/3 cups unsweetened organic almond milk
Preheat oven to 350o. Lightly oil and flour a 9-inch cake pan or loaf pan.
Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together. Fold the wet into the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth, but do not overmix. The batter should be thick and spoonable, not runny. Bake for 30-35 minutes, on the center rack, (your baking time may vary 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven; whether it runs warmer or cooler than the temperature indicates, so be patient. But remember, do not open the oven door until the baking time is three-quarters lapsed. Opening before that time is a sure-fire--no pun intended--way to cause your cake to sink). When a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center or the top bounces back to the touch, the cake is done. It is best, I have found (having thrown out many a failed cake recipe) to turn the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack while it is still warm, rather than letting it cool completely. Work carefully, realizing that cakes, especially whole grain-based versions are delicate and you will do fine.