What has apple, dates, oats and cinnamon and smells divine? Breakfast of course! So, yes, you can eat this instead of your morning bowl of oatmeal, and thank me later.
I can't lie. I love fruits but apples aren't quite on top of that list. In fact, I really only buy apples in the hope that I'll be forced to eat them when starving and there is no other snack available - after all they're so darn good for you. There is often that lonely apple that sits in my fruit basket, seeing several bunches of other fruits come and go. And I try not to make eye contact with it in the fear that I will then have to guilt-eat it. Yes, apple and I have a strange relationship. So after hiding it inside salads, overnight oats, fruit chaats and several other bowlfuls where I could silently forget about it, yet consume it, the time had come to bake with it. But wait, did I mention I hate stewed apples even more? Ha, I am full of surprises!
I decided I should make a sort of apple sauce with it before using it and, I have to admit, the result was pretty favourable! In the continued attempts at eggless baking this month, this warm, cinnamony loaf with apple, dates & oats turned out to be quite the fall-in-a-bite. It has everything to complete your chilly morning cravings. Now all I need is someone to get me that steaming cup of coffee.
And no more apples till next season please.
1 large apple, peeled and diced into small pieces
1/2 cup pitted dates, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons light olive oil (or any tasteless oil)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (India atta)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk (replace with soy/nut milk or warm water if vegan)
Pre heat the oven to 350F, and grease your loaf/cake pan and keep it ready.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix in the oats. Keep aside.
In a deep pan, mix the apple, dates, cinnamon, maple syrup and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till the apples are soft enough to crush (approximately 10 minutes), and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Mash the mixture lightly with a fork and keep aside.
Mix the butter and oil. Add the sugar and whisk/beat till slightly fluffy and incorporated. It won't mix too well because of the oil and sugar granules, but that's ok. Stir in the apple mixture and beat well. You will notice that the mixture starts to come together, and almost resembles one with eggs. Add the milk and give it another stir. Finally add the flour mixture in 2-3 batches, and gently fold in till blended. Do not overmix. The mixture will be thick and look slightly softer than cookie dough.
Pour the batter in your baking dish, even out the top and bake for 40-45 minutes till the edges brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Alternatively, use your nose. Yes, you can't miss the smell - your home will be smelling delicious by now.
Cool the cake for 10 minutes. Cut into pieces and enjoy.
-The cake is slightly crumbly since it doesn't have eggs. However, the taste is definitely not compromised. The broken bits taste great with vanilla ice cream or plain custard! (If any readers have thoughts on how to bind eggless cakes better without using any substitutes, I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send me a note!)
- The same cake can also be made with eggs. Just beat in 2 eggs before the addition of the apple mixture, and a teaspoon of vanilla essence to mute the egg smell.
- Replace the apple mixture with a mix of 1 small mashed banana + 1 cup grated carrot + 1 tsp cinnamon + 2 tbsp maple syrup for my eggless banana carrot cake. You can skip the oats and fold in raisins + walnuts after the flour instead - the combination is decadent!
It was only after I started editing my pics that I noticed the heart in this shot. It was not intentional. What can I say, I love cake, and it loves me right back! ;)