On my quest to rid my store cupboards of everything humanly possible (I'm moving house in a few weeks!) I turned my attention to a jar of apple puree that had been on a shelf since bumbags were considered a legitimate fashion staple.
I bought it mainly to cook up some recipes from Babycakes that had been reprinted in a magazine somewhere (they've been sitting in my recipe folder for so long I can't remember which one it was.)
Babycakes, as you probably know but didn't occur to me, does gluten free stuff. As someone with no gluten allergy and a dwindling selection of baking ingredients, I had to swap the rice, gram etc flours for the standard wheat stuff.
This, as it turns out, is not a smart move. I tried to turn the recipe for Plain cake doughnuts into small sponge cakes. It almost worked. Almost.
I think I put them too high up in the oven, and the top of the sponge cakes turned into some superheated lava that later cooled into a cookie type texture. I talked them up to Mr Flicking the Vs as a cake and a cookie in one, and he was quite happy with that.
I then for some reason decided to replicate the same feat with a Babycakes min thin cookie recipe, which I adapted with a few chocolate chips. When I added all the rapeseed oil that the recipe called for, the cookies were far too liquid, but hope triumphed over experience, and I bunged them in the oven anyway.
Guess what? They were all soggy and dissolved into a shower of sad crumbs as soon as I laid a fingertip on them. I managed to hoover up a few before they disintegrated, but they weren't robust enough to dunk into tea. And if you can't do that with a biscuit, what's the point?!
Still, when you're given cookie crumbs, what can you do? Make truffles, of course. I melted the rest of the block of chocolate that hadn't been made into chips, and stirred in the crumbs. Once it was cool enough to handle, I rolled them in icing sugar and voila! Peppermint chocolate truffles!
That left me about a third of a jar of apple puree in need of use.
I turned to the ever reliable 1,000 Vegan Recipes for help, and it coughed up Apple Lover' Cake – doubly handy as I had a bag of cooking apples gifted from Mr Flicking the Vs' mum.
I used the recipe as a starting point, chopped up the cooking apples and laid them in the base of the cake tin. Then I followed the recipe for the apple sauce sponge, adding in some mixed peel, poppy seeds, and cinnamon (it's the 'everything must go' approach caused by that impending move! It was only through strength of will there wasn't vital wheat gluten and pickle too!)
I made a half-batch of sponge recipe, so the result was more like a tart, but I loved the almost bouncy, fat-free cake layer, and the squidgy rich apple underneath. It looks a little pale in the photo, but that was the camera on my phone playing tricks.
I liked it so much, I tried it the other way up, as an apple upside down cake. Turns out, it tasted the same the other way up. And that was no disappointment!