Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cake

Chocolate chip applesauce cake
chocolate chip applesauce cake
Makes about 24 squares, serves 6-8 as dessert

125ml (½ cup) oil
2 eggs
250g (1 1/4 cups) sugar
250g (2 cups) flour (plain, or half wholewheat)
500ml (2 cups) applesauce
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking soda
3 tblsp unsweetened cocoa

150g (1 cup) chocolate chips
2 tblsp sugar

Mix the oil, sugar and eggs with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except those for the topping, and mix until blended. Pour into a greased ovenproof dish, approx 22x32 cm (9x13 inch). Sprinkle on the topping, then bake at about 180C (350F) for 35-40 mins. When ready, the cake will be firm but not burned and the topping will make a light sugary crust. When cool, cut into squares.

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This is a simple dessert or cake which can be mixed in a few minutes. Although the quantities are given in grams, this is very easy to make using American cups. If you don't have a set of measuring cups, you can approximate with any mug or glass that holds 250ml liquid. We use olive oil and dairy-free chocolate chips, which makes this suitable for those on a dairy-free diet.

I was given the US version of this recipe by a friend in Chicago, many years ago, and have used it frequently in the USA, UK and now Cyprus. It's fairly low in fat, other than the chocolate chips. The original had one and a half cups of sugar in the main cake, but we found that a bit too sweet so I reduced it little. You might find just 200g (one cup) is sufficient - but don't reduce it too much as the sugar is needed to make the consistency right. The sweetness partly depends on the sweetness of the apple sauce. I make my own from raw apples, which can vary in sweetness. If you use cooked apple purée, and don't sweeten it, you may find that you need more sugar in the cake.

Chocolate chip applesauce cake can be eaten alone as cake, or with thick yogurt or ice cream as a dessert. It freezes well.

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