With a cool easterly blowing off the Great Dividing Range behind our house, a baking window appears between January heat waves, and temperatures at Nundle in the high 30s (40C+ in other areas of south eastern Australia). I have almost finished an online Kids Gut Health Masterclass
and I am keen to put some of my learning to work, making a healthy school holiday snack for our boys. Focussing on wholefoods,
Anthia Koullouros's book I am food
is an excellent companion to the Kids' Gut Health Masterclass. I flick through it looking for inspiration and my eyes fall on the Cinnamon apple almond cake (a variation of the Vanilla pear almond cake).
An apple tree, just metres from our kitchen, is loaded with apples, so this is an opportunity to make a cake using homegrown apples and eggs from our one remaining Isa Brown chicken. We've battled coddling moth, cockatoos, and musk lorikeets who claim a share of our apple harvest. The apple tree and other fruit trees in the garden are draped with netting to discourage the birds dropping in to feed. Cord that hums in the wind is strung from anchor points on trees and the house, making it look like a school yard game of cats cradle gone wrong.
The Cinnamon apple almond cake is intriguing, made without flour, instead using four cooked apples, six separated eggs, coconut sugar, almond meal, cinnamon and salt. I substituted almond meal with LSA. The flaked almonds sprinkled on top add a delightful crunch and the cake is delicious served with yoghurt or cream. This recipe is a keeper and I am sure it will become part of my repertoire throughout the year for school lunch boxes or afternoon tea. Next time I might try using the recipe to make muffins.
Cinnamon apple almond cake (from I am food, Anthia Koullouros)
Ingredients: 4 apples, 6 eggs, separated, 1/3 cup (75g) coconut sugar, 2 1/2 cups (300g) almond meal (I used LSA), 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder, pinch of natural salt, 3 tablespoons flaked almonds, cream or yoghurt to serve
Method: Preheat the oven to 200C (fan-forced). Line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper and oil the sides with coconut oil.
Peel and slice the apples into thin segments and place in a medium saucepan with 1 cup (250ml) of water. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then poach for 10-15 minutes. Drain, reserving the apple water to make jelly, if desired. Set aside to cool and reserve about a dozen thin apple segments to decorate the cake.
While the apples are cooling, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Transfer the apples to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the egg yolks and coconut sugar and beat until creamy. Add the almond meal (or LSA), cinnamon, and salt and process until combined. Gently fold the egg white into the apple mixture, keeping as much air in the batter as possible. Pour into prepared cake tin. Place reserved apple segments in a decorative pattern on surface of batter.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove cake from tin, sprinkle with almond flakes, and serve with yoghurt or cream.
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