Vegan ‘Torta di Mele’

Now, I don’t consider myself a recipe developer. But, much to my husband’s eye-rolling amusement, I do like to experiment in the kitchen. I am always changing and adapting tried and tested recipes based on what I have in the cupboard and what I want to achieve (most frequently converting non-vegetarian dishes into vegetarian ones) with mixed results.

So when I couldn’t find the perfect Vegan recipe for ‘Torta di Mele’ – a classic Italian apple cake made lovingly by Italian nonnas for decades, I decided to invent one myself!

Its not that there aren’t recipes for vegan apple cakes around. A quick google search produces plenty to choose from. My problem is that I wanted that homely and cozy feeling that comes from a freshly baked cake that is fluffy and oh-so-deliciously buttery. But all the vegan recipes I found were….healthy. Now, I’m all for simple substitutes to improve my diet but sometimes you just want an indulge! 

I wanted to bake a cake that if served to a non-vegan, they wouldn’t be able to taste the difference. And so I enlisted the help of a secret ingredient ~ silken tofu. I know if you are not familiar with using this ingredient for vegan cakes and sweets it may sound wacky, but it works incredibly well.

And now that I have this successful vegan cake recipe it is easily adapted to make other types of vegan cakes….even more healthy ones. Just replace the brown sugar with a vegan sweetener of your choice and change the flour too if you want. I made a delicious Vegan Banana & Blueberry Cake based on this recipe, subbing out the apple sauce for half a banana (the other half I used to top the cake along with the blueberries and shredded coconut). The possible combinations are endless! 

  

Vegan ‘Torta di Mele’ – serves 6

(Adapted from recipe found in ‘La Mie Ricette con Bimby’ – the Italian version of the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 3 apples
  • 75g silken tofu
  • 50g apple sauce/mousse
  • 30g coconut oil (melted)
  • 90g coconut cream
  • 130g brown sugar
  • 30g Brandy (optional)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 15g yeast
  • a pinch of salt

Method

1. Peel apples, cut into quarters removing the seeds and stems. Then using a sharp knife make parallel cuts on the exterior of the apple (like scoring). Put aside

2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and grease a cake tin with coconut oil

3. Insert the butterfly into TM bowl

4. Put the silken tofu, apple sauce, coconut oil, coconut cream and Brandy (if using) in the TM bowl and mix – 20sec/speed6, scrap down sides

5. Add the flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt. Mix  – 20 secs/speed6

6. Pour batter into cake tin and arrange the apple quarters on the surface, with the cut/scored exterior facing up.

7. Bake in oven for 30-40mins or until a toothpick comes out clean

 

A Snowy Saturday Morning Surprise – Vegan Banana, Coconut & Walnut Cake 

I awoke this morning to quite a surprise. Yup, you guessed it snow. Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise, it was forecast. But snow has been forecast many times before and I get my hopes for a winter wonderland that never arrives. And considering the Spring-like weather we’ve had this week, I was sure it was a false alarm. But I was wrong and it’s been snowing quite heavily since the wee hours of this morning.

So what’s a gal to do with such an unexpected event? Bake with my Thermomix of course!

Vegan Banana, Coconut & Walnut Cake – serves 5

(Adapted from Paola Galloni’s recipe in the March edition of Cucina Naturale)

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 60g cornstarch
  • 30g coconut flour
  • 30g self raising flour
  • 50g walnuts
  • 75g vegan sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, agave syrup etc)
  • 10g chia seeds
  • 3g vanilla
  • 50g coconut milk (or other plant based milk)
  • 30ml (2 tblspoon) water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar and/or cinnamon to decorate

Method

1. In a small bowl add the 30ml of water to the chia seeds, mix and put aside (for 15 mins)

2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

3. Grease a cake tin with coconut oil

4. Put the walnuts in the TM bowl and mill – 10sec/speed6, scrap down sides

5. Add the cornstarch, coconut flour, self raising flour, vanilla and salt. Mix with blades off – 10 secs/speed4

6. Add the banana, milk and sweetener and mix – 10 secs/speed5

7. Add the amalgamated chia seeds and mix with blades off – 10sec/speed 3.

9. Pour batter into cake tin. If the batter is dense, wet your fingertips with water and use them to evenly spread the batter around the cake tin.

10. Bake in oven for 30mins or until a toothpick comes out clean

11. Allow to cool completely before decorating with icing sugar and/or cinnamon

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

  
Poet, philosopher, illustrator and author Theodor Giesel better known as Dr Seuss would have celebrated his 112th birthday today. 

Famous for his children’s books like Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and The Grinch who stole Christmas, Giesel created whimsical and timeless worlds and characters that sparked the imagination and ignited joy and laughter in all who read or saw them, both young and old. 

In his rhyming way he was also a master of words with his extensive works providing a plethora of inspiring and wise quotes about life and love.
Being a big fan of quotable as well as imagination and creativity, Dr. Seuss’s words have always had a huge impact on me, never failing to bring a smile to my face with their simplicity and proud insight. 
Below you will find a collection of my favorites in honor of Dr Seuss:
// “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”
// “Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered”
// “The more that you read the more things you will know, the more that you learn the more places you’ll go”
// “Be what you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”
// “Today you are you and that’s truer than true, there is no one alive who is you’re than you.”
// “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose”

Do you have a favourite Dr. Seuss quote? I’d love to hear it.