Mar
20
2011
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Spring Nutty Cake

Use dried fruit rather than refined sugar to sweeten desserts

As everyone indulges in mounds of cream sandwiched in huge buns consisting primarily of things that really aren’t going to do us much good (white flour and sugar), it’s time to think anew. I know that I am a party-pooper when it comes to the annual semla-fest, a Swedish tradition which is also practiced in other Northern European cultures, which originated in the need to pack in the calories before the 40 days of fasting decreed by the Catholic Church at Lent.

These days most of us do not fast anymore and the on average 4-5 gigantic semla buns that Swedes consume annually are in a continuum with all of the other calorie-rich foods that continue to be consumed on a regular basis. It’s one of those familiar things that provides a short feel-good experience and then leaves you feeling a bit, well, bloated. As you know from this blog, I’m not against cream, I just find that the increasingly wide-spread consumption of foods such as semla, which are no longer limited to the time frame of tradition (that is, you can in fact consume a semla at just about any time of year), is unfortunate. 

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, it’s time for the good news. You don’t have to abstain from a sweet, even with a dollop of cream, to be healthy. Inspired by the many unused packages of dates I received as gifts at Christmas mingles, I decided to see whether these fruits, which have a strong natural sweetness could be used in making something tasty to consume with a cup of tea. Since I always have a wide range of nuts and dried fruits stored away in my kitchen cupboard, I decided to experiment with a few of these to make a cake, without refined flour and sugar.  The result was a divine, light cake with great texture that everyone in the family enjoyed, and all made without the use of refined flour and sugar!

Spring Nutty Cake

200 grams or 7 oz. ecological dates (you can also use figs)
1 dl or 1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 dl or 1/2 cup almonds
1 dl or 1/2 cup walnuts
1 dl or 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
6 egg whites
vanilla essence or vanilla sugar

Preheat your oven at 175 C or 347 F and line a baking tin with baking paper. Run the dates through the food processor so that they are chopped very fine. Add nuts and dessicated coconut and process, one deciliter or half  cup at a time. Whip egg whites until stiff , adding vanilla sugar. Gently fold the dried fruit and nut mixture under the egg whites until a batter forms. Empty the batter into the lined baking tin and bake for 45 minutes. The cake should not be baked dry and should retain some moisture inside. If you have that whipped cream craving, don’t hesitate to add a dollop to your slice of spring nutty cake.

Written by Admin in: Cakes,Dried Fruits,Fruits,Nuts,Sweet Food | Tags: , , ,
Oct
16
2009
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Thin Apple Cake

It's October again...

It's October again...

October wouldn’t be October without an apple recipe. At Sweden’s smallest factory, which happens to be devoted to apple products, I tasted the most heavenly little apple cake with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. I tasted carefully in order to record the ingredients on my tongue and recreate at home. Here is what I came up with and it is very good. The upside is that you can eat it in thin, small slices. The downside is that it does contain those bad boys, refined white flour, sugar and butter. This recipe contains no eggs.

Thin Apple Cake

4-5 tart medium-sized apples peeled and cut into slices
juice of 1/2 lemon
2.5 dl or 1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsps vanilla sugar
2 dl or 3/4 cup sugar
1.5 dl or 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
100 g or 3.5 oz. butter
4-5 dl or 1.5- 2 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 200 C or 392 F. Grease a pie dish. Prepare the apples and toss in lemon juice. Melt the butter in a pan, remove from the heat and blend in milk. Start with 4 dl. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, make a well in them and pour in the butter and milk liquid. Blend with a hand-held beater. The batter should not be too stiff. Add milk if it is hard to mix with the beater. Pour the apples into the batter and mix into the liquid. Pour the batter into the pie dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Learn more about  Sweden’s smallest factory devoted to apples at Julie’s Nordic Island.

Written by Admin in: Apples,Cakes,Fruits,Sweet Food | Tags: , ,

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