Applesauce-Cocoa Cake

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Samuel and I had a great time making an applesauce-cocoa cake this afternoon. We had everything we needed except for baking soda, which our neighbors were happy to provide! Here's the recipe we used from Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu Cookbook. This is a new cookbook I'm trying out, and so far, I love it! Thanks for loaning it to me, Miriam!

Applesauce-Cocoa Cake

This is a moist, dark cake. If you choose to add the spices, the flavor will take on an air of mystery. It is almost a spice cake, understatedly chocolate, with a touch of orange, and all the luxurious qualities of an applesauce-nut cake.

This recipe is minimally sweet, so if you prefer a sweeter dessert, you can increase the sugar to 2 cups or use sweetened applesauce.

1/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soft butter
1 1/2 cups (packed) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 cup finely ground walnuts (use a food processor fitted with a steel blade or a blender, with brief spurts)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream

1] Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard-sized tube pan.
2] In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
3] Stir in vanilla and orange rind. Set aside.
4] In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients (including the optional spices or not). Stir them into the ground walnuts.
5] In a third bowl, whisk together the applesauce and yogurt or sour cream until well blended.
6] Add the dry mixture and the applesauce mixture alternately to the butter mixture (dry-wet-dry-wet). Stir just enough to blend after each addition.
7] Turn the batter into the prepared tube pan. Bake 45 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. The cake is done when a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes to prepare; 45 to 55 minutes to bake. Yield: 1 large cake. (Katzen, Mollie. Still Life with Menu Cookbook: Fifty New Meatless Menus with Original Art. California: Ten Speed Press, 1988, pg.124.)


Claudia said...

Samuel looks like he is having a lot of fun helping you Karli!! Maybe he will turn out to be quite the Chef like his Daddy?!
Did you like the Cake?

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