Super Moist Apple Cake

Hello everyone!

January is flying by, I can’t believe we’re already halfway through. In my brain we were still in the first week of January, which is why I’m so delayed posting this recipe! For those of you following me on instagram, you already saw my Apple Cake turning up. (Can’t believe how much love it received!)

I made this cake completely out of the blue in Amsterdam. My dad had gone to the gym and I wanted to surprise him. He is a loyal follower of the blog (thanks Dad!) and told me he wanted me to bake him all that nice stuff when I come home. As he likes my apple pie, I decided to try a new recipe using apple. I basically just threw some ingredients together and I can’t believe how amazing it turned out.

This apple cake is so moist. Partly because of the homemade apple puree that I used, but also because of the mix of butter and vegetable oil I used. I actually did that because I didn’t find enough butter in my mum’s fridge, so I just threw some extra oil in (nothing worse than a dried-out cake). But I ended up being very pleased with it: the oil gives the cake that classic cake-like moisture whereas the butter adds depth in flavour.

So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!

Super Moist Apple Cake

Ingredients

For the apple puree:

  • 3 apples
  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp water

For the cake:

  • 40 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 grams white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 grams plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the decoration:

  • 2 apples cut in thin slices
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

Start by preparing the apple puree. Cut the apples into chunks and add them together with the other ingredients to a sauce pan over low heat. Boil 10 minutes or until soft, stirring every now and then. Mash the apple using a potato masher if you want a very fine sauce, or alternatively leave some chunks of apple in there if you prefer. Set the puree aside to cool and preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, oil and sugar together with a hand-held electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one until incorporated and mix another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and apple puree and mix a bit more.

Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Be careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into a round cake tin (I used 21 cm diameter). Top with the thinly sliced apples, sprinkle some sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

My dad lent me his camera and it was such a pleasure taking pictures with that instead of my phone!

Thanks for reading guys and be sure to sign up to get email notifications if I post something 🙂

Love,

Tori

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Orange & Ricotta Almond Cake

My roommate and I went to Ottolenghi the other day and we had the most amazing cake for dessert. It had orange and chocolate, which is one of my favourite combinations and it was made with almond flour. After trying this cake, I just knew I had to experiment with almond flour a bit myself, because I liked it so much. I started to look up some recipes online, thinking it would be kind of similar to baking with coconut flour, but nothing is less true! You do need to use quite a few eggs, but almond flour is not nearly as absorbent as coconut flour. Recipes for one 8″ cake often call for 2 cups of almond flour at least, making the cakes very calorie dense. My solution: just substitute 1 cup almond flour for 1/4 cup of coconut flour! Because it’s so extremely absorbent, you really don’t need to use much of it, so you’re left with a cake that’s super high in protein but relatively low in calories.

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What’s more, this recipe is perfect for people out there who like coconut flour because of its absorbing qualities, but don’t necessarily enjoy the taste of coconut in every cake they bake. I found this mix of 1 cup almond + 1/4 cup coconut flour did a pretty good job at masking the fact that there was even coconut flour in there. Also, store-bought almond flour/finely ground almonds is pretty expensive (you can make it yourself if you have a decent kitchen processor), so this blend is very economical too. One cup of store-bought almond flour will easily cost 1 pound at the least, whereas 1/4 cup of coconut flour costs around 25 pence. (Of course there is a lot of variation in price depending on the brand and store and your location.)

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Although I am a big fan of the chocolate + orange combination, I didn’t want to bake a chocolate cake. I wanted this cake to be protein-packed and free of refined sugar, to make it suitable as a breakfast cake. So let me give you a heads up: this cake is really not that sweet and I would not recommend it as an afternoon tea / coffee treat. If you want to serve it that way, definitely consider adding at least an extra 1/2 cup of honey or 1/2 cup of white sugar. It really depends on how sweet you want it to be, it’s up to you! It does have the texture of a coffee cake though, because of the creamy ricotta in it. You can use either full-fat or any other ricotta you like (full-fat is probably easiest to find). I chose to use a full-fat ricotta, because I was not adding any extra oil or butter to this cake. If you go with a fat-free ricotta, you might want to consider adding 1/4 cup of butter/vegetable oil.

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Orange & Ricotta Almond Cake

Serves: 12 – Preparation time: 30 minutes – Baking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • handful of almond slivers
  • 1 cup full-fat ricotta (room temp)
  • 4 cold eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup honey (+1/2 cup extra when serving as a sweet coffee cake)
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (double for a less subtle orange kick)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 150° C / 300° F. Grate the zest of one orange and set aside. Separate the eggs (this is a lot easier if they’re cold!) and beat the egg whites until they are stiff using an electric hand mixer. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks with the ricotta with the hand mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, honey, orange juice and orange zest. Mix for a minute. Hold a sieve over the bowl and sift the coconut and almond flour through it into the wet mixture. Add the baking powder and salt as well. Mix until combined and lump free. Then, fold in the egg whites bit by bit using a spatula. Be careful not to mix too hard, as you want to maintain the airiness of the egg whites to make for a fluffy cake. Transfer the mixture to an 8″ cake pan and sprinkle with some slivered almond. Cover the cake with aluminium foil (be sure to spray it with some baking spray so it won’t stick to the top of the cake once it rises!) and blind-bake the cake for 30 minutes. Then, take off the aluminium foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the top looks done and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before serving.


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Did I say this cake is almost completely carb-free? And it’s gluten free as well! The perfect thing to serve if you’re sharing with people on a low-carb or gluten free diet.

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Bon appétit!

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Good morning everyone!

During my trip back home to Amsterdam, I managed to get my loaf tin back. I missed it so much for my baking here, because I used to make so many banana breads in that tin. But today I won’t be sharing a banana bread recipe (although I’m sure that will come around some time…) but another quick bread/loaf.

This gingerbread-spiced loaf is packed with courgette. I love to use courgette in my baking, because it adds so much moist. Any quick bread will have cake-like structure if you add courgette I think, which is basically amazing, because you trick your mind into thinking you’re eating an oil-packed cake when it’s just super healthy. Grated courgette is also amazing to add to red velvet cake, just so you know. Also, the little green dots look gorgeous in the baking.

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You can experiment with this loaf as much as you want. I am trying to find the healthiest version without compromising on taste and texture. I’ve found that this recipe is the perfect balance! It has just 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but you might even be fine without any oil at all. It’s also completely up to you how sweet you want this cake to be. If you plan on eating this cake for breakfast, I suggest just using 1/4 cup of agave syrup or honey and leaving out the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. But of course you can add as much sugar as you want, especially if you want to serve this as an afternoon treat/coffee cake.

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I used 4 eggs for this loaf, which sounds like a lot, but I sometimes like to add an extra egg to my breakfast loaf because I am a vegetarian. I try to sneak extra protein into my meals wherever I can, so if I have the chance to add an extra egg to my baking, I just go ahead. I started out with 3 eggs but found the batter a bit too thick, so I added another one. If I were you, I’d just start with 3 eggs and see where that gets you. Especially if you are just using plain flour and no oats & spelt flour like me, I think 3 eggs will be plenty.

To add a gingerbread flavour to this loaf, I added cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. These spices gave this loaf so much warmth, it made me feel like it’s already Christmas. Perfect for any cold mornings coming up. Feel free to just use 2tsp of cinnamon if you don’t have the other spices in your cabinet; it will still taste amazing.

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Yield: ± 10 slices  – Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 55-60

Dry ingredients

  • ½ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain oats + 1 tbsp for decorating
  • 1 tsp baking soda (=bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice/mixed spice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup melted vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup agave syrup
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (I used dark brown natural unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you need the acidity as a reactor otherwise the baking soda doesn’t do anything, you can also use some honey or lemon juice)

Filling

  • 2 cups grated courgette (±2 small to medium-sized courgettes)
  • small handful chopped walnuts
  • small handful chopped pecans + some extra for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and combine well.

Grate the courgette and drain well from extra liquid, but it’s okay if you leave just a bit because this provides extra moist to the loaf. Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.

In another bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula. Finally, add the courgette & nuts and fold into the mixture.

Spray a loaf tin with some baking spray (I use coconut oil spray), or alternatively just grease the tin with butter. Line your tin with parchment paper and spray again. Then, pour in your batter. Your batter should be just liquid enough to pour in your tin with some help of a spatula to flatten everything out! Top the loaf with some whole pecan nuts and a sprinkle of oats. Cover the top of your loaf with aluminium foil but be sure to leave enough room for the loaf to rise.

Bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the aluminium foil and check how far along the loaf is. Place back into the oven without the foil so the top of the loaf can become golden brown. My loaf needed another 15 minutes, so it baked for a total of 60 minutes. You can try to reduce your baking time by increasing the heat of your oven to 190 degrees Celsius, but I didn’t want to risk ending up with an uncooked inside but burnt top.

Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes before easily removing it by pulling on the parchment paper. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for at least another 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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Have a lovely week everyone and be sure to share picture with me if you do try this recipe! 🙂

Love,

Tori

Flourless Dark Chocolate & Espresso Birthday Cake

Hi guys!

Hope you’re all doing great. I’m currently in my hometown Amsterdam because I planned a surprise visit for my brother’s 18th birthday. Fortunately, the surprise went really well (he had no idea that I was coming!) and we had a very nice family day with lots of food! My mom and I spent basically the whole day in the kitchen last Thursday (on my brother’s birthday) to bake two cakes and prepare an awesome bday dinner. It’s a bit of a tradition in our family that you can choose what you want to have for dinner on your bday. My brother is a big fan of my famous Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna (of which I will probably post a recipe sooner or later) so that’s what he requested. But what is a birthday without an awesome birthday cake?

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I actually decided on baking two cakes because I had two recipes in mind that I really wanted to try out, but I needed a hand mixer for those recipes. Now, I don’t own one back in London, but my mom’s kitchen is fully supplied so I figured I should take advantage of the opportunity! Note that it is possible to bake this cake without a hand mixer too, but you will get a sore arm from beating the egg white 😉

My family is one full of ever-caffeinated-chocoholics, so this first cake, an Espresso & Dark Chocolate Cake, seemed just perfect. To keep it low-carb (the other cake we were doing was heavily carb-loaded so yeah…) we decided on a flourless version. This makes for an extra dense & creamy chocolate cake, but you do want this to sit in your fridge for a few hours before indulging.

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Let’s get to it!

Flourless Espresso & Dark Chocolate Cake

Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 35-40 mins – Yield: 16 pcs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 250 gr dark chocolate (I used around 70-80% cacao but you can use whatever you prefer. If you use more than that, consider adding a bit more sugar)
  • ¼ cup of boiling water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 fresh single espresso (or 1 tsp instant espresso powder)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Powdered sugar & fruits for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and boil some water in your kettle. Break up your chocolate in small pieces and pour 1/4 cup (60ml) of boiling water over the chocolate. Add one cup of fresh espresso. You can also use instant espresso powder (1tsp) or both for extra coffee flavour. While you let that sit, separate the eggs in two large bowls. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg white until it’s very firm. Give your chocolate mixture a stir every now and then so that the chocolate completely melts and incorporates into the espresso and hot water.

Add your softened butter, sugar, salt, cacao powder and vanilla extract to the egg yolks and cream together with your hand mixer or spatula, whichever you prefer. Once the chocolate has fully melted, add the mixture to your egg yolks & butter. Now take a look at your egg white. If it has started to separate a bit, just quickly beat it again so that all the egg white is nice and fluffy. Scoop in the egg whites with a spatula, folding it in carefully to preserve as much air & fluffiness in your batter.

Poor the mixture into your cake form. You can use anything you like. I went for a larger diameter because I like this cake to be thin (you could use a brownie tin too), but if you want a thicker cake, use a cake form with a smaller diameter. Note that this will add ±5 mins to your baking time and your might want to let the cake set in the fridge a bit longer.

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My cake baked for 35 minutes. I let it cool on the counter for an hour. You could eat it straight away, although I like this cake better when it’s completely cooled and has set in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. This will make the cake extra dense and chewy. Whatever you prefer! Top the cake with some powdered sugar. You can also add any fruit you like. I chose raspberries and blackberries because I think they’re sweet yet sour taste goes well with the very dark chocolate. Strawberries would work really well too!

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Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for the recipe of the second birthday cake I made: a pear cheesecake with crumbly topping. I promise it will be an absolute hit this fall with your family & friends!

Best,

Tori