Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get Your Antioxidants: Dessert Style

I have a few theories about why I was the sister who was originally left off of the blog. The first is that my sisters like to gang up on me. The second is that I was not living with them at the time that the blog was conceived. The third is that, unlike Rebecca and Sarah, I do get a little squeamish about recipes that call for endless amounts of butter. And the fourth is that I lack much of their fancy equipment and patience for baking things that require endless steps.

So while the truth may never be known, this green tea and applesauce cake from Kosher by Design Lightens Up that I made is an excellent rebuttal to those who would say that baking has to be complicated, and that things have to be bad for you to taste good. This cake is more of a spice cake than anything else, and I really love the flavors of ginger and cinnamon that flavor the lightness of the cake. Susie Fishbein writes about the benefits of the antioxidants in green tea, but mostly, I would recommend this cake because it's delicious.

I've made this cake three times now, and this time I finally got it right. It's really easy to make-- the challenge is just making sure that you bake it for just the right amount of time. Otherwise, it ends up either a little dry, or kind of raw in the middle. I haven't tried this yet, but my hunch is that it would also make some really delicious muffins.

Green Tea-Applesauce Cake
From Kosher-by-Design Lightens Up, by Susie Fishbein
1/3 cup coarsly chopped raw, blanched almonds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond or vanilla soy milk
1 green tea bag
1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Icing (optional):
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons remaining brewed tea
Make the topping by combining the almonds, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 325.
In a small saucepot, heat soy milk over medium heat just until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot. Remove from the heat and add the tea bag. Let steep for 3-4 minutes; stir to make sure it steeps, and then remove the bag.
In a small bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, honey and egg. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. Add the applesauce mix and 1/2 cup of the brewed tea. Stir just until combined. Pour in the prepared pan and sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Make the icing: In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and 1-2 teaspoons of the remaining brewed tea. Stir until the lumps are gone and it is of good drizzling consistency. With a small spoon, drizzle the icing in a zigzag pattern over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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