Do you ever step back from something only to find patterns or themes emerge that you hadn’t expected? Like not seeing the forest for the trees, sometimes the patterns in my cooking don’t become obvious to me until I’m at the computer to give them virtual life here at BAH. And then I’m all, oh, what a coinkydink. Of course, the Universe being what it is, it’s not a coinkydink at all. It’s the Universe giving me an opportunity to compare and contrast. And Universe, may I gently remind you that those compare and contrast essays were my least favorite writing assignments in school? I’m just saying, maybe you could throw a little something different my way? For now, we’re going to work with what we’ve got and talk about Inspired Taste’s Apple Almond Coffee Cake.
This recipe didn’t take long to go from folder to oven. Adam and Joanne posted it on their blog on 19 January and it took me less than a month to set it on a cooling rack at my house. For me, who has held recipes for YEARS before trying them, this is a record turn around. But it came in the cold, dark days of winter. Days when the sky opened and dropped snow of epic proportions. Days when I had nothing but time on my hands. Days when running a 350 degree oven made the house just a little warmer while the mercury outside was hovering somewhere in the 20’s. Days when strenuous snow shoveling required frequent refueling for The Mistah. I know this may all seem quaint as you’re reading it in the relative balm of May, but the days were harsh and drastic steps had to be taken. It’s not often that drastic steps taste this good so we lucked out on that one.
Actually, I made this cake a week or so before I gave RLB’s Cinnamon Crumb Surprise a try. And I think maybe because Apple Almond Coffee Cake (A2C2) was such a smashing success, the subsequent CCS disappointment stung all the more. The two recipes are different so it might not be totally fair for me to compare them to one another. But whatever; my kitchen, my rules.
A2C2 was a dream. Moist. Flavorful. Big, fat crumbs. The proper way to enjoy this cake may be on a plate with a fork and knife. Proper schmoper. There is just enough of a crust to keep it together while you gobble a piece from the palm of your hand. It’s not as sturdy as CCS but it’s no delicate flower either. And did I mention moist?
Moist to the point that at first I thought I had managed to under cook it even though my tester came out clean as a whistle. So moist that I had to pull up the post at Inspired Taste to look Joanne and Adam’s photo just to see what their cake looked like. So moist that…well, I think you get the idea. And it was from A2C2 that I got the idea that I might like CCS more if I gave it an Inspired Taste tweak by mixing the apples into the batter and baking it in a cake pan. I haven’t executed that plan just yet…at least not as I sit here writing this. In the time it will take for this post to publish, who the heck knows. I may keep the apple, spice, cake theme going. Or I may move on to another pattern.
Apple Almond Coffee Cake
Adapted from Adam and Joanne at Inspired Taste
BAH Note: Because I can’t eat nuts, seeds, or berries I omitted the almonds and subbed some almond flour for part of the regular flour. But that was only an option because the Universe had me buy a bag of almond flour for another recipe so I happened to have some. If you don’t have almond flour, don’t sweat it. Just increase the 1 cup of all purpose flour to 1 1/2 cups and add 1 cup of coarsely chopped toasted almonds to the recipe. I’ll even point out where. Inspired Taste said to bake for 40 to 50 minutes but my cake was done closer to 30 minutes. So you might want to start checking it around then.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup low fat plain yogurt
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- Juice of 1 lemon
Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan.
If using almonds, place them on a sheet pan and roast for 3 to 5 minutes as the oven is heating, or just until you begin to smell the nuts. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the almonds to cool. Once cooled, coarsely chop the almonds with a knife or in a food processor. If using almond flour, skip to the next step.
Peel the apple and cut into 1/4 inch dice. Place in a small bowl and squeeze some lemon juice over the pieces to prevent browning. Toss the pieces with 2 tablespoons of flour and set aside.
Combine the eggs and sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until they are slightly fluffy and a pale yellow color, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
While the mixer is running, combine the remaining 1 cup flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
Once the eggs and sugar are ready, fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, working with one third of the flour at a time. Once fully combined, add the apples (and 3/4 of the nuts, if using) to the batter and stir to just combine.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and spread to evenly distribute. Top with the remaining nuts, if using, and bake for 30 to 50 minutes or until the sides just pull away from the pan and a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and squeeze half a lemon over the top of the cake. Cool for 30 minutes then carefully remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.