Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fat-free banana applesauce cake

I am writing this post from an exalted plane, a level where virtuousness reigns supreme, accompanied by just the tiniest smidgen of self-satisfied smugness. I am determined to milk this (relax, it’s fat-free milk) situation for all it’s worth because virtuousness is not usually something to which I can lay claim. Even less do I aspire to it (but that’s a different story altogether).

However, do not despair, dear readers.

Note: I address those of you who, like me, do not always land on the right side of the fat-free, guilt-free, calorie-free, heart-healthy, artery-safe and 5-a-day lifestyle that every food blog, every food writer (and every government diktat) advocates. Those of you who are already converted, you may as well stop reading right here… I preach to my fellow sinners, not the already-converted-and-preaching-themselves (heheh)!

Right, to get back on track… do not despair, dear-readers-who-are-like-me. It is possible for every one of you to reach this plane.

All it takes is applesauce, in a three-step plan.

First step - Make your applesauce. (It’s got to be home-made to reach that highest plane. Sure you can use store-bought applesauce, but the virtue level won’t be as high). So.

Second step – Use the applesauce in a cake. For preference, the banana cake that I made for a friend (recipe below). Sure you can make your own cake following some other recipe, but the virtue level won’t be as high. Note: This is MY recipe for illustriousness, so what I say is Gospel. Or Shyamusmriti, for the Hindu-minded. (Sorry, Manu, this is my show.)

Third step – Cool, cut and eat.

That’s all.

To recap: Make applesauce. Make cake with applesauce. Cool. Cut. Eat. Attain afore-mentioned exalted level.

Recipe for:
Fat-free applesauce banana cake


2 ripe bananas
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups applesauce
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cups nuts of choice, coarsely chopped (I used walnuts) - optional


1. Preheat oven to 375F/180C. Spray 6" round baking tin (or bundt pan) with Pam.

2. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until it's mushy. Add the oil, applesauce sugar, cardamom and cinnamon and mix together.

3. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour baking powder and baking soda.

4. Add the banana mixture to the flour and fold in gently until just mixed. Do not beat. Stir in the chopped nuts if using.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan

and bake till done and a cake tester comes out clean.

6. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely. Ice lightly if preferred with a simple mixture of icing sugar mixed with milk or cream and a bit of vanilla extract to a thick but pouring consistency.

To make applesauce, chop up two large cooking apples and pressure-cook them for three whistles. Run the cooled cooked apples in a blender to make smooth applesauce.


Manasi said...

I bow to thee!he cake looks awesome!

Kalai said...

Nice treat that you don't have to feel guilty about! And homemade applesauce is definitely a nice touch. :)

Chhaya said...

Hi Shyamala...that was an amazing post...couldnt stop laughing till I finished reading the entire thing...the pun with the Shyamusmruti was a very inspired one !!!
Oh by the way...I will be sure to try the cake and experience all its effects !

Nandita said...

Has surely turned out delicious even without the fat...thanks for the quick and easy pressure cooker recipe for applesauce as we don;t get it here...once i get down to making the apple sauce, will try out your recipe...

Raaga said...

I love this Shyam!!

I didn't know I could make applesauce in a pressure cooker. Do you add water? Please give me a couple of more neetis from shyamusmriti!! :-)

Srivalli said...

shyam..this is too good a mantra!...so we will call it shyamantra!...and that recap is highlight I tell ya!..lovely cake..will work on this

Srivalli said...

and two bananas you refer to the big ones or small ones..?..and whats cooking apple?..do you get like that too..

Shvetha said...

Just what I was looking for. Thanks, Shyam!
BTW, how do you come up with the recipes? The flour-oil ratio, & the details..

Me, a (very) amateur (aspiring) baker ;-)

Shyam said...

Manasi: Thank you! it was, frankly, surprisingly good! :) Didnt think it would come out well.

Kalai: It definitely was a treat!

Chhaya: Glad you were amused :)

Nandita: Oddly enough, I dont get applesauce here either. Not cheaply, at any rate. Making your own is way better. No preservatives, totally fresh.

Raaga: Gosh, no need to add water at all! If you peel the apples before pressure-cooking, you could just mash it up without even a blender, actually.

Srivalli: :D You've gone one better than me in coming up with strange terms :D

Shvetha: If you think I "come up" with recipes, you're so far off the mark :) I get recipes from the Net and tinker with them a little... that's all. :) Sometimes it works spectacularly, sometimes it flops just as spectacularly. Just luck...

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you posted in your food blog. I was getting little bit worried. Where is Shyam and her wonderful writeups and cook ups (?).

Will try this cake over the week end.

Vidya said...

Approximately, for how long did u leave it in the oven?

Shyam said...

Anon: Thank you for missing me! :) I was just lazy... havent done much cooking as my mother is here!

Vidya: Umm... I cant remember how long I baked it. Maybe about 40 minutes. But I usually start checking cakes around the 30-minute mark, then every 5 minutes till the cake tester comes out clean.

Priyamvada_K said...

LOL - nirvana in a cake-sized package. Who'd have thought?

This post left me smiling.


sra said...

"Or Shyamusmriti, for the Hindu-minded. (Sorry, Manu, this is my show.)" - Hilarious! Manu must be writhing in his grave at having a woman tell him it's her show.

Suganya said...

Enjoy while it lasts. There is no way you can get a fevicol cake (remember?) with applesauce :D

Shyam said...

Srivalli: Sorry, dunno how I missed seeing your second comment! The answers are - two medium bananas. Cooking apples are usually Bramley apples because they're too sour to eat raw. I'm sure you can use any variety of apples to make applesauce.

Priya: I know, Nirvana comes in different forms, doesnt it? :)

Sra: He can writh... but can he cook? :)

Suganya: I sure hope I dont make Fevicol cake again. How could I forget!!! :)

Aparna said...

That's a great recipe for a great cake.
I hope you are planning to keep visiting us down here often.:)

Shyam said...

Aparna: hahaha... for a moment there, I wondered what you meant! Dont worry, that was only a fleeting visit to the higher level. I'm back on earth now :D

meerkat said...

really is a coincidence. i made a banana cake (not quite fat free) with applesauce and mashed bananas this week and it was scrumptious and easy to make as per the recipe given here

will try yours as well to see how the fat free variation works out


abhi said...

Muhahahaha! I have tasted it and words that would have, in the normal course, sung its praise have died and gone to seventh heaven. And all I can manage in my cake-addled state is a "divine". Shyam, please take a bow!

Swarna said...

what fat-free applesauce banana cake for a post natal nursing mother(abhi)(just in case ur readers think they missed a big point here...hehe)!!!!!! oH-My-Gawd!! Now shyamsmurthi has incurred the wrath of all gods!!

I was exalted to that plane just reading that post shyam...count me in the wish-i-could-convert-to-fat-free-lifestyle club, no no i'm a permenant member there arent I?

Anonymous said...

Nice recipe.. :)

one question.. can we use wheat- flour instead of just the flour (maida).. and keeping the rest of the ingredients same. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I did enjoy your writing, I was wondering if you could substitute the sugar with vanilla yogurt? I have a heart disease and cannot have all the sugar.

Shammi said...

Hi Anon

Sorry to hear you can't have sugar. Are you allowed to have sugar substitute like Splenda for baking? I dont think vanilla yogurt would work in place of sugar because the batter would become too runny, and the cake would probably turn out very dense.