Smitten Mom’s Apple Cake

At the end of last October, one of my all-time favourite food bloggers – Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen, released her first ever cookbook.

For those of you who know me personally, you’ll know that I am an avid reader have a slight intense obsession with the Smitten Kitchen blog. Deb’s writing has inspired me to roll up my sleeves and cook from scratch again and again. Plus her recipes have never failed me. Whenever I need a new, reliable thanksgiving entree or a delicious, foolproof birthday cake, I turn to Smitten Kitchen.

As soon as I picked up Deb’s cookbook from my local bookstore (literally hours after it was released in Canada), I read the entire thing cover to cover in one sitting. This humble apple cake was the 1st dessert that I tried out of her cookbook and just like all of Deb’s recipes – it turned out beautifully.

Smitten Kitchen Apple Cake.jpg

Deb said in her book that this apple cake by her mom is a showstopper. She promised that if I bake this cake once, I will bake it again. Sure enough, she was right. Even though her cookbook features 8 more cake recipes that all sound much more ‘higher-end’ with names such as Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with grape coulis and red wine velvet cake, I find myself not able to go past this apple cake. And I have absolutely no problem with that.

a dollop of soft butter or oil spray
6 MacIntosh Apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 TBsp ground cinnamon
2 cups + 5 TBsp granulated sugar
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 TBsp baking powder
1 Tsp table salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice, not from concentrate
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, free range & organic
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease bundt pan, or two 9-inch round cake pans with the dollop of butter or oil spray
  2. Toss the apple chucks with cinnamon and 5 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside
  3. Stir together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla
  5. Pour the wed ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and begin adding the eggs one at a time. Scraping down the bowl occasionally to make sure that everything is incorporated.
  6. Pour half of the cake mixture into the greased bundt pan. If using the round pans, divide half of the cake mixture in half again and pour into the 2 pans. Each round pan should have 1/4 of the batter.
  7. Top batter with half of the apples.
  8. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top
  9. Bake cake for 1.25-1.5 hours. If you are using the round cake pans, then check the cake at around the 50 min mark. I found that the cake took about 1.5 hours regardless of what pan I used, but every oven is different so I don’t want to mislead you and have you end up with burnt cake. That would be tragic. Once cake is cooked through, transfer cake pan to a wired cooling rack
  10. Cool cake completely before flipping the cake out of the pan, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving

 

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Apple Cinnamon & Peanut-Butter Steel Cut Oats

It’s been a while since I’ve been here. 1 year and 2 months to be exact.

Where did the time go? Blogging almost feels foreign to me now, but I’m willing to give it another go, if you’re still willing to read 🙂

Life has been busy, in a great way. K and I got married 5 months ago in the mountains, underneath these stunning cottonwood tress, and we spent the entire weekend there celebrating with our closest family and friends. It was incredible and we now have memories to last us a lifetime together.

AK Wedding

Married life has been nothing short of amazing, with the exception that both K and I injured ourselves. I tore a tendon on my foot while running/falling down a set of stairs, and he broke his right knee while playing basketball. The both of us have been in casts of various sorts over the past few months, and we have creatively mastered the art of walking with crutches and standing on one leg.

This was not the way we had intended on starting our marriage together, but over the last few months, I think we’ve learned more about our relationship than all of the 4 years prior. I saw first-hand that K handles these set-backs in life with incredible courage and positivity, and that despite all this, he continues to be an amazing partner to me – forever supportive & understanding.

Our dearest friends, the people who stood beside us as we became Husband & Wife 5 months ago also have proven to be the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Our endless requests of grocery deliveries, food orders and rides to the hospital have never yet been refused, and many have offered to cook & clean for us to help us stay off of our feet as much as possible. If ever I am feeling down due to my (temporary) lack of mobility, all I need to do is to look back on my chains and chains of supportive messages from our friends over the last few weeks, and I am quickly reminded of how lucky we really are.

Aside from learning how to take care of each other while on 1 leg each, we’ve also started cooking a lot more homemade meals. A busy 2013 (moving to a new home, wedding planning, new business) had us eating out most of the time. With the both of us staying at home for the majority of this year, we are determined to cook most of our meals from scratch.

To kick-off the ‘relaunch’ of this blog, I think an easy recipe of a hearty breakfast item is in order. Steel cut oats have become one of my favourite things to cook and eat. They also keep well both in the fridge and in the freezer. You can make them in the morning if you’re an early bird, or you can throw some into a slow-cooker the night before for a quick meal the next day.

Apple Cinnamon PB SteelCut Oats

The recipe I have here is one for stove-top cooking. It has been slightly adapted from The Gouda Life as I added a little peanut butter flair into my pot of oats. A recipe for slow-cooked oats will come as soon as I make my next batch.

1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups  2% milk, organic if possible
1  Gala apple, peeled and cut into 1/2” dice
1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 heaping TBsp peanut butter
4 TBsp brown sugar, or more to taste
Toasted almond slivers, apple slices (unpeeled) or banana slices for garnish

  1. Combine water and milk in a pot and bring it to a boil
  2. Pour in oats. Once the mixture begins bubbling again, turn down the heat and reduce it to a simmer
  3. Add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon into the pot and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes until the oats are tender and cooked through, stirring regularly
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and brown sugar until desired sweetness is reached
  5. Serve oats immediately, topped with toasted almonds, apples and/or banana slices