Sunday, November 25, 2012

Apple-Walnut Mosaic Cake

When I first read this recipe from the book, "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas, I asked myself these questions...

Mosaic? This must be a pretty cake...

Is there too much apples in this cake?
Can the small amount of batter strong enough to hold all the mosaic ingredients?

I'm baking this Apple-Walnut Mosaic Cake for The Home Bakers and this is the twelfth bake for this event. THB is an baking event organised by my friend, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. With a group of gorgeous ladies, we are baking all recipes from the book, "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas until every recipe has been baked from this book.

Prior this bake, Mich from Piece of Cake and I had a brief conversation about baking this cake when we met in Singapore. Mich warned me the crumbling nature of this cake and advised me to bake mine in smaller versions for easy handling. I should listen to Mich baking my cake in muffin tins. Instead, I'm curious and wish to seek for a nice mosaic design in every slices of my cake. And so, here I am compromising the situation by taking a risk to bake my cake in a 10 cm x 20 cm loaf pan.

Based on the recipe, this cake is baked with a little amount of stiff batter and I can smell that the top of my cake was beginning to "cook" fast in the first 15 min of baking. And, so I covered the cake loosely with aluminum foil and bake it for 30 min to cook the apples
thoroughly without burning the surface of the cake. The foil was then removed and the cake was baked for another 20 min to achieve a rich brown colour. 

I felt relieve seeing that my cake came off my loaf pan to be perfectly well-intact. I must admit that slicing this fragile cake can be pretty tacky and have managed to slice them into five thick slices. Generally, I am happy with its look, taste and texture. Taste-wise, I can't really tell if there is any difference with or without the use of walnut oil baking this cake and all I can tell is that the oil does create a light and smooth batter. 

Overall, I reckon this cake doesn't seem like a typical cake. It is NOT soft, fluffy, buttery or smooth at all. Having so much apples and cranberries in its single bite, this apple-pie-like cake is quite an unique, wholesome and delightful one to enjoy. 

I'm happy to see this lovely mosaic design in my cake.
Ingredients that create the lovely mosaic design in this cake
Making the cake... with my retro whisk :D
Baking the cake
Crumbling texture! Lucky that my cake survived and relieved to see a nice mosaic design :)

Being the rule of this event, only the host of the chosen bake can post the recipe in her blog post. Please visit Mich from Piece of Cake for the detailed recipe of this bake.

And, here are the notes and modifications that I made for my bake.

My ingredients list (which is half amount of the original recipe)

70g whole walnuts (not chopped), lightly roasted for 8 min at 160°C fan forced
75g whole wheat flour
75g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
90g light brown sugar
1/3 cup walnut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Using this amount of ingredients of the above recipe, I've baked the cake using 10cm x 20cm loaf pan at 160°C fan forced for a total of 1 hr 5 min.

The total baking time consists of :
  • 15 min first to bake the outer layer of the cake
  • Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil (with holes) and bake for 30 min - this step is to cook the apples without burning the surface of the cake.
  • Remove the foil and bake again for another 20 min to achieve a rich brown colour - The juice released from the cooked apples will moisten the cake batter and the sugar released will help to caramelize the cake batter into a nice and rich brown colour.
Modifications that I have made from the original:
  • I have used walnut instead of pecan.
  • I have also used all walnut oil instead of canola oil or half walnut oil with half canola oil.
  • I have replaced the baking soda with baking powder.
  • I have omitted ground allspice and the use of icing sugar for dusting. 
  • I have reduced the brown sugar amount from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup for half of the amount.
Happy Baking
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  1. Yours looks great with the mosaic pattern! Mine has no mosaic pattern as I have reduced the amount of apples drastically! All in, I supposed mine is more cakey than yours because of the lesser quantity of apples used, but nevertheless, this cake is enjoyed by my kids, it is moist and very tasty!

  2. Looks so delicious...Its really unique, want to bite into one..yum.
    Have a lovely week ahead :)

  3. Great recipe, sounds light, healthy and delicious.

  4. Hi Zoe, I can see the mosaic so clearly! That is really gorgeous. I think I shall try to do this one more time, using a loaf pan :)

  5. Hi Zoe, your cake looks beautiful and delicious with a very nice mosaic design! This is indeed a very unique bake!

  6. Zoe~~
    ur cake full of fruits n nuts...

  7. The cake is so full of fillings! Amongst which chunky walnut is my favourite. Yum Yum.

  8. I like my cakes with lots of ingredients in it & love the crunch in this recipe :) xoxo

  9. I saw thee on Joyce's blog; she made cup cakes/muffins. Really love the idea of making it in a loaf pan. Great alternative when some in our families don;t like the traditional fruitcake.

  10. Zoe, you seem to be more quiet than b4 you went on your holidays, busy? I just popped over from Lena's blog, coz saw your version of this apple walnut mosaic cake! I did notice that other blogger friends have also mentioned about the amount of apples used. Your version looks very yummy there!

    1. Hi Jessie,

      You are right that I'm a little "quiet" lately. I've been busy with Xmas and work lately. Feeling a little exhausted and so blog a little lesser... It will get worse when my brother and auntie are staying with us just before the Xmas season. Hope that I can survive this Xmas hectic season :p


  11. hi zoe, i think our cake looks quite alike since both of us baked in a loaf pan and yours definately have more 'mosaic' than mine. Very pretty! Surprisingly, i find this cake quite soft this time and personally find it very tasty.

  12. Zoe, with so many ingredients, could it be more like a loaf than a cake? Anyhow it turns out to be, yours look very tempting. I don't mind a couple of big fat slices with a cup of hot black coffee :)

  13. I was curious about the name of this cake but upon seeing your clicks, yes really look like mosaic....

  14. Omg, wish i get a slice of this cake.

  15. I love all the different bits in the bread!

  16. Looks like a stained glass window!

  17. Zoe, this cake looks delicious!!

  18. I am baking this pronto!!!
    This looks heavenly.
    Like I said before anything with appleis perfectly delicious for me.
    And to top it off, dried cranberries.

  19. Oh how wonderful it sounds and looks! I love the ingredients!

  20. Beautiful! I love a big slice of apple&walnut cake. The cranberries seem like a great addition. A few more fruits and it will be similar to the Portuguese king's cake.

  21. Oh Zoe! it looks like a perfect Fall cake to me with all that fruit and nuts in it - delicious!
    Mary x

  22. Hello Zoe, thank you for visiting my blog. Very nice to meet you-) Your blog is very interesting. We bake a lot in our home also, I do it mostly for a smile of my kids-))) We will visit you very often my friend. I hope you have a good week!

  23. Beautiful cake Zoe. I love all the chunky goodness in there. I may participate in your Martha Stewart cook like a star. I just made the most amazing dark chocolate and coconut pie from her for Thanksgiving and I need to re-make it again and photography it etc for the blog. Are you doing Martha in December? It could be perfect timing!
    Let me know!

    1. Hi Jackie,

      The cook like a star, Martha Stewart event is on-going in Dec 2012. Please link up with us if you can and can't wait to check out your dark choco coconut pie.


  24. Delicious cake Zoe! Great recipe and as always tempting pictures! Wishing you wonderful week ahead!

  25. Zoe, it looks like a dense, moist and chewy cake. I do like this type of robust cakes for a change, it's somehow more filling and satisfying.

  26. Sounds like the perfect healthy cake option. I love it x

  27. Delicious and beautiful cake , Zoe ! Love the texture and flavor of this cake .

  28. That looks so moist and juicy and delicious! Very tempting indeed. I can't believe I'm salivating over cake! :-)

  29. A true mosaic of flavors and aromas Zoe! I love it!

  30. Wow, the mosaic design looks really pretty. The chosen ingredients do create a nice color combination and the taste must have been fantastic with so much goodness packed into it!

  31. Zoe,this mosaic cake looks lovely. I like the chunky apples, walnuts and the cranberries look like rubies. I guess it is not only looks lovely, ts also delish.
    Between , just like to let you know that I have send a email to you,..^^

  32. Zoe, my DH would love a slice of this cake of yours! Look at all those yummy bits of walnuts, apples and cranberries! Definitely a bake again recipe!

  33. Hey, Zoe. It's so timely of you to put a foil over your cake to avoid overbrowning. I must say that your rendition of the mosaic cake is very nice and it looks so pretty like those mosaic tiles I've seen with many pretty colours on them.

  34. Gosh! I've missed this post. Wow! We can certainly see the mosaic in your cake! Looks delicious & what a great idea not chopping those walnuts. I'll take note of that coz I'll be baking this yummy cake for X'mas; Hopefully this time round I don't get mix up with dark brown sugar AGAIN! :p LOL