Sunday, April 26, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

I guess we all have a desire for lots of flavor without all the fat and calories. After years of blogging desserts without regard to calories or fat, I decided I would try a lighter recipe. I know that several other countries believe that American desserts contain too much sugar for the palate. It is about personal taste and what you are used to.  I know people that prefer a salty snack over sugary.  Dieting, in my book, is about portion size control when it comes to eating desserts. After all, it is easier to eat less than to change your whole realm of eating habits. Moderation is another key.

This particular recipe is a bundt cake filled with cinnamon, apples and ground walnuts. The cake part has vanilla beans in it. However, the results prove that the filling is the real flavor in this cake.

For my taste, the cake part seemed to eggy and did not offer much flavor. The ratio of eggs to flour  seems unbalanced. As you can see by the picture, the cake part looks very spongy. This is not typical of most bundt cakes. In addition, I was disappointed that you cannot taste the flavor of the vanilla beans in the cake. Since I am not someone that creates low fat/calorie recipes, I am at a loss with how to get to a more flavorful cake, while still retaining its low cal/fat attributes.

If you are a low fat/low calorie guru and enjoy tweaking recipes, then you are welcome to grab this one up and start experimenting. Myself, on the other hand, will go back to sweet indulgences.

Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
adapted from Cooking Light/Nov 2011

1 cinnamon stick ( 3 inches long)
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tbs dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups diced, peeled apple (tart style, like Granny Smith)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs flour
2 tbs dark brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fat free milk
3/4 cup 2% reduced fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
9 oz or about 2 cups flour
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
powdered sugar (optional, for dusting top of cake)

Start by preparing the bundt pan by coating the interior with a baking spray with flour or greasing and then dusting with flour.  Make sure all the crevasses are completely covered.  Set aside and then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling, place all the filling ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium high heat.  Once the mixture reaches a boil, turn temperature down to medium and let simmer. As it simmers, stir occasionally. The liquid will evaporate as it cooks. After 20 minutes, there should be very little liquid and the apple quite tender. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Divide mixture in half and set aside.

The next step is the streusel. Fill the bowl of a food processor or blender with all the streusel ingredients. Pulse the mixture until it reaches a coarse, sandy texture. Just like the apple mixture, divide in half and set aside.

The cake process starts by sifting the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Then take out another bowl and fill with the butter and sugar. Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer on medium speed, cream the two together by beating for about 3 minutes. Add one egg and beat for another 30 seconds.  Add the other egg and beat again for 30 seconds.  Repeat with the egg yolk.

Take the split vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar/egg batter and blend until evenly distributed. In a separate bowl create a dairy mixture by whisking together yogurt and milk.  Fold 1/3 of the sifted ingredients and into the sugar/egg batter.  Stir in half of the dairy mixture.  Repeat the process of adding the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry ingredients. Divide the batter into thirds.

Take 1/3 of the batter and spoon into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan.  Top the batter with 1/2 of the apple ingredients, making a row in the center of the batter.  Then top with 1/2 of the streusel mix, still making a center row.  Add another layer of batter (using the next 1/3 measurement), spooning in and smoothing out. Layer the center row with the remaining apples and top with the last of the streusel.  Spoon the rest of the batter on top and smooth with a spatula.

Place the filled pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. A toothpick test resulting in moist crumbs indicates that the cake is done.  Let cool in pan 20 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack.  Once completely cool, dust with powdered sugar if you prefer.

Tips and Notes:
1. The recipe did not specify making a center row of filling and apples, I added this instruction to insure that it would not reach the edges to cause sticking to the pan.

2. Act quickly when assembling, batter rises quickly once the dry ingredients are incorporated.
                          **LAST YEAR:Cherry Almond Cobbler Cookies**