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First experiments with baking with apple sauce

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!

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  1. You, madame, are so resourceful! I've never heard mention of a recipe being coughed up before. I created a very interesting picture in my head. And, in the end, you had two cakes from one recipe: one standard and one upside down, voila! Looks delicious, too, by the way. Where are you moving? Did I miss that somewhere?

  2. Haha I do the same with gluten-free recipes that call for 5 different specialty ingredients. Too bad it didn't work this time. The cookies look good though! As does the apple cake. I really want to make apple cake tomorrow. I might have to find that recipe.

  3. Nice save on the cookie disappointment- The truffles sound fantastic! And you certainly can't go wrong with apple cake, so good call on your second project. I'm very impressed by your resourcefulness.

  4. This: "hope triumphed over experience" ! Love that sentiment.

    Although we're not moving, I think we need to have a similar pantry clear. We've got enough stocked up that we can survive cyclone, flood and zombie apocalypse all in a row. Sure, we'll be eating tinned tomatoes and tortillas (we have 8x12packs!), but there are worse things.

  5. I like how you made proverbial lemonade out of lemons. Nice save. I often use applesauce in baking, but for only up to 1/2 the fat. I think you need a bit of fat in most [not all] baked goods for chemistry and flavor.

  6. The peppermint chocolate truffles sound pretty tasty, glad that you got it sorted! The apple upsidedown cake looks delish!

  7. You're a hell of lot more creative then I am! I would have shed a tear for my fail and mixed it into oatmeal or something else just as boring. I usually steer clear of gluten free baking since I'm cheap and a pansy but it's nice to know that subbing the flours does not work. That apple cake looks pretty rad though, from the top AND bottom.

  8. Cooking with applesauce has been hit and miss with me, but I was never as inventive! I have the same cookbook, and your suggestions sound pretty fantastic! A success, I'd say. :)

  9. Nice saves! Love how you talked them up to the Mr. :-) If it had been me, it would have all gone into the trash, never to be spoken of again.

  10. How creative to turn the biscuits into truffle! I need to get better about recycling experiments gone wrong like this.

  11. Well I had the opposite problem as you — turning a regular recipe into a gluten-free one, and failing. I also turned my failure into cake balls, and found myself rather anxious for another failure as the cake balls were delicious.

  12. I go through phases of using apple puree - but find I get some enthusiasm - use lots of then leave a bit in the jar to go off - must remember how much we love stewed apples with our porridge - the cake looks great but most of all I loved how you rescued the cookies with truffles - brilliant


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