Healthy (ish) spiced toffee apple cake

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Well, here’s my entry to the PETA Great Vegan Bake Off. As you can probably tell, I’m not the greatest photographer in the world and I rely a lot on my camera’s AUTO function, but hopefully this will do. The recipe I came up with filled up two (yes, two) loaf tins and had a super duper amount of apple pieces in (more apples + less cake batter = healthier cake, right?).

I wanted something that was in theme with the season and as we currently have several crates full of apples sitting in the garage (yay for community orchards), it definitely had to be warm, comforting and very, very apple-y. I didn’t want it to be too sweet due to my Mum’s non-existent sweet tooth, which kind of put a lid on the “toffee” side of this toffee apple cake. I did however add some golden syrup and black treacle to get the subtle flavours of bonfire toffee underneath all the appletastic goodness. If you want to be really healthy, you can omit the syrup+treacle, but I haven’t tested the recipe without them.

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Recipe (for 1 loaf tin)

175g flour (I used 125g plain and 50g soya flour to use up ingredients in my cupboard, but you can probably substitute for a healthier flour if you prefer)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

0.5 tsp mixed spice

0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

1 tbs porridge oats

35 mls oil of choice (I used sunflower)

1-2 tbs golden syrup

0.5 tbs black treacle

1 chia egg (add 1 tbs chia seeds to half a teacup filled with water + leave for 15 mins)

175 mls milk alternative (I used soya as that was all I had in the house)

1-2 large bramley apples (roughly 175g-200g), peeled and chopped into chunks. You can pop the chunks in a bowl of water to help prevent them going brown.

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Method

  1. Add flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda, salt and oats to a large bowl and mix evenly.
  2. Slowly add your milk alternative to the dry ingredients, followed by your oil, mixing well. Stir in syrup and treacle if using.
  3. Add your chia seed egg to the bowl (it should be ready by now) and slowly add apple chunks. Mix well.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a lined or greased loaf tin (you can just use a bit more of your oil for this) and flatten down the top with the back of a spatula.
  5. Place in a preheated oven (180 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven when a toothpick, skewer or knife comes out clean and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the tin. Best served warm, either on its own or with vegan custard. If you want it a little sweeter, serve with a vegan toffee sauce (recipe to follow).

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Well, that’s it. This was my first ever attempt at my own recipe and a healthy one at that. Well, healthy-ish. I’m sure there are some improvements to be made, but I ran out of time for the bake off.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well for my first try. I tried to focus on using less fat and less sugar than a normal cake and I think I certainly did so. If I did it again I would experiment using wholemeal flour, trying a no sugar variety and possibly amping up the spice. It was also a little dense, which was noticeable more when cold, so I would attempt to make it lighter.

Also, If anyone has any tips for my photos, or knows of any good guides on the subject, they’d be much appreciated. Only so far I can go with the camera’s auto settings and my limited photoshop wizardry, just sayin’.

What do you guys think? Any tips to make this better/healthier? Has anyone else entered the bake off? I hope so 🙂

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