Food writer Samantha Seneviratne believes that cooking is a necessity but baking is a choice.
In her latest cookbook, “The Joys of Baking,” she writes about how baking has become a powerful form of therapy for her, helping her deal with the challenges in life. “The recipes tell the stories of how I fell, how I rose, what I baked and what it meant,” she says in the book’s introduction.
The recipes are organized around five themes: Courage, Grace, Bliss, Love and Wisdom. From the Wisdom chapter, her Apple Snack Cake makes good use of leftover or blemished apples.
APPLE SNACK CAKE
This cake is my best defense against less-than-perfect apples. Save the crunchy beauties for eating out of hand.
Unsalted butter for pan
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 ounces chopped pecans (½ cup)
2 ½ ounces dried currants (½ cup)
2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples (from about 3 small apples)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch-diameter, 2-inch-deep round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. Butter the parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream, vegetable oil and vanilla. Fold in the coconut, pecans and currants, making sure the currants have separated and the mixture is well combined. Next, fold in the apples and then the flour mixture.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.
Cut around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Flip the cake out onto a plate and then carefully flip it back, right-side up, onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.