September zipped by me. I feel like I was just standing in a tornado set on a time line... I just whirled through each day and then somehow ended up half way through October.
This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy myself through all the chaos. Lots of great things happened in September. I went to Brazil for two weeks and ate açaí everyday. I started teaching again and worked a lot on my seemingly never-ending PhD. (Spoiler alert: there still is no end in sight.) One of my best friends came to visit for a week... a week filled with one too many trips to Buvette. (We actually started to get embarrassed because we went so much... BUT THEIR FAVA BEAN TARTINE IS SO ADDICTIVE.) Until finally: October, where we stand now.
I made this cake for my Canadian Thanksgiving apéro. In reality, this was the most un-traditional way to spend Thanksgiving, as I prepared little sweet-potato-and-pumpkin hand pies, appetizers from Ottolenghi (very Canadian...), and a huge cheese plate. But, it still brought together a lot of my Parisian friends, squashed into my apartment, which is obviously the most important thing about Thanksgiving.
This cake screams autumn. The sweet potato, which I have to admit is a welcome change from everything pumpkin, becomes even sweeter with touches of apple and maple syrup. The cinnamon and nutmeg pop a little bit in your mouth with each bite. A traditional cream cheese frosting was made a bit darker with the addition of some cocoa powder. It is a perfect fall dessert and a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving!
Vegan Sweet Potato and Apple Layer Cake - What you need:
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato (I baked 3 medium sweet potatoes (skins on) in a 200C oven for 1 hour, let them cool, peel them, and then mashed them up.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups loosely packed shredded apples (approximately 2 large apples, I left the skins on)
Vegan Sweet Potato and Apple Layer Cake - What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F). Prepare two cake pans (23cm/9in) by greasing them with butter and coating them with flour. Set the cake pans aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
In a large bowl, beat together the apple sauce, sweet potato, sugar, syrup, oil, and apple cider vinegar.
Slowly beat in the flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture.
Fold in the shredded apples.
The batter will be dense.
Spoon the batter evenly into the two pans, and bake at 180C for 22-24 minutes. Turn out the cakes on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Chocolate cream cheese frosting - What you need:
(Adapted from here)
- 150 grams cream cheese, softened (for a vegan version, try Tofutti.)
- 150 grams (vegan) butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
Chocolate cream cheese frosting - What you do:
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Beat in the confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time. Beat in the cocoa powder.
As usual, first I made a crumb coat around the cakes. To do this: frost a thin layer around the cake to flatten out the surface. Pop the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes. This layer will harden slightly, and then you can add another layer to finish up the frosting.
The rosemary is an added "look! we've made it to fall!!!" accessory. I thought about throwing some sprinkles on this cake, but I sprinkle up everything, so I went a bit more natural this time.
The cake is soft, with an almost creamy texture. The sweet potato adds a more earthy touch to this cake, and the apples sweeten it up and provide a great texture. The frosting was light and airy and paired nicely with these fall flavours. It was a great addition to my little apéro!
Baking soundtrack - tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I find this to be very funny and quite amazing.