Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lightening up Cakes

It's no secret at all that I rather adore a 30 yr old cookbook from a church group in the Canadian prairies, but I have to admit that the palate of a hippie surburbanite in 2013 and the palate of a farm kitchen in 1980 aren't quite the same, generally just in the sheer amounts of oil that gets used. Crazy pants. So I started tweaking.

One cake came about by aiming to clear out some of the jars from the fridge, in specific the random end bits of jam jars. Of course I cleaned out two, didn't have enough and had to open another, so it was only a net drop of one, but at least its a change of flavour.

Leftovers Cake

2 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup of whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup jam (I ended up using three different ones, mix and match, it's okay)
3 eggs
1 cup milk (I use almond milk, use whatever milk makes you happy)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mixed dried fruit, nuts, seeds (raisins, dates, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, whatever!)

Sift together the dry (or mix, because few of us ever really sift). Mix together the wet in another bowl. Add wet to dry, and then mix in the dried fruit/nuts/seeds. Pour into a greased pan, I used a bunt pan, and bake at 350 for about 40 mins.

Verdict: I had ginger chunks in my mixed fruit, and I think without those this would have needed some more spice. It'd be a perfect place for those sweet spice mixes that you use once a year and wonder why they're in your spice drawer.

The other cake came about on a similar desire to use things up. I had a couple of elderly beets and decided to bake with them. The church lady cookbook had a veggie cake I wanted to try, which was a list of ingredients and no directions that matched the ingredients. Oops.

Veggie Cake

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded raw beets (about 1 medium sized)
1 cup shredded raw carrots (about 1 medium sized)

Sift together dry, I tossed in the raisins at this point, I probably should have kept them 'til the end but enh. Mix together the wet, and add to the dry. Mix in the veggies. (I shredded them with the food processor. So much win.) Pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan (I had planned on putting it in a bunt pan, but it was full of Leftovers Cake). Bake at 350 for 30 mins or until done.

A long weekend full of cake, parties, Civ V and sangria. Can't argue with /that/.

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