Apple, Cranberry & Praline Cake… and Ten in 10!!

“One that would have the fruit must climb the tree.”
Thomas Fuller

Here’s a fruity filled beginning to 2010, a year that’s already beginning to look good. The year that we just wrapped up was filled with goodness too, ever so satisfying. The high points being blogging with friends, Food Blogger Connect, Twitter and macarons! Who would have dreamt that life would change monumentally with a microapplication called Twitter?? I’ve made breakfast club pals, macaron pals, laundry club pals, dragon pals and even snail pals!

Food blogging led to fabulous new friends, and some I was actually able to meet at the Food Blogger Connect! We exchanged gifts there, BIG TIME, and so came the idea of this absolutely delicious dessert! This is one from the heart, and is thus sweeter. It tasted so good!!

I used the praline from Pamela and cranberries from Jamie, both fine foodies and fab friends from France. As a matter of coincidence, I had apples on hand and was browsing one of my favourite French food blogs, Bea‘s La Tartine Gourmand. I just had to make this comforting cake. Bea’s blog is heart warming, just like I love it … full of connections, memories, family, food and gorgeous pictures. If you need a dose of inspiration, do head straight here! Vive la France!!

Twittering with food bloggers offered things to make life even better this year. I am delighted to have joined up for a wonderful challenge Ten in 10: ten Weeks to Healthy in 2010, the brainchild of a wonderful blogger Lori @ Recipe Girl. What is this all about?

It’s about wanting to feel healthy. Everyone has a different vision of what being healthy means. Some want to lose weight, some feel that they’re already at a comfortable weight but they would like to make a commitment to exercise, some would like to eat healthier, etc. Everyone will have their own individual goals for this healthy challenge.
Read about it here, and you can join in too.

I have penned down a few goals that I hope to work towards…(easier than putting down New Year resolutions LOL!)

  • Eat healthy
  • Increase vegetables in meals
  • Decrease non-vegetarian options on the table to 2 days a week
  • Make more stuff at home vs store bought to decrease preservatives, & my carbon footprint
  • Stick to local & seasonal food
  • Use more fruit in the daily diet especially for the kids
  • Focus on fruit and natural sugars in dessert

I have learnt to look at food in new ways. Fruit have become a HUGE part of my baking life, and I aim to include vegetable in the roll call too. I am waiting for a recipe of brownies with sweet potato that my sister has promised to mail me. Broccoli has been won, and I have my sights set on cauliflower. I can say from recent experience, persistence pays with kids; I can see them battling their veggies less now!

I will attempt to explore and achieve my healthy goals over the next 10 weeks, and will hopefully carry them through the rest of the year too.

Apple,Cranberry and Praline Cake
Adapted minimally from this recipe from La Tartine Gourmand

Ingredients:
3 large apples
2 oz dried cranberries (soaked in hot water for 20 min)
3 eggs
7 Tbsp butter, melted (1/2 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (or 1/2 tsp fleur de sel)
75gm plain flour
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar (or light brown sugar)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup nut praline (optional)

Method:
Sift the flours with the baking powder and keep on the side.
Soak the cranberries in hot water for 20 min, then drain.
In the meantime, peel your apples, remove the core and slice them thinly.
Preheat your oven at 180C.
Break the eggs in a large bowl and beat them with the sugar and salt, until light.
Add the melted butter and the rest of dry ingredients. Mix well but not for too long, until everything is incorporated.
Add the apple slices and half the nut praline.
Butter a round 9.5″ mold and pour in the apple batter.
Top evenly with the cranberries and nut praline.
Cook in the oven for 30 to 35 min. Remove and let cool for a few min before unmolding on a large plate. Eat it lukewarm, it is even better.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
A little news that I just got that I am excited to share. I am one of the 50 bloggers & chefs whose recipes have been included in the free STRAWBERRY mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch.

FREE IPHONE STRAWBERRY RECIPE APP LAUNCHES
“STRAWBERRIES” iPhone App to View and Share 50 Strawberry Recipes
from Top Food Bloggers and Chefs
Watsonville, CA (January 13, 2009) – The California Strawberry Commission today announced the availability of the free “STRAWBERRIES” mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch users featuring more than 50 mouth-watering strawberry recipes from some of the most popular food bloggers and chefs from around the web. Individually selected for that “wow” factor, these recipes will inspire families, foodies, cooks, the health conscious and strawberry lovers everywhere to get even more creative with strawberries.
iPhone and iPod touch users can now access different strawberry recipes complete with vivid food photography and step-by-step directions to create that special dish for those around you. The free app neatly categorizes recipes under Snacks & Appetizers, Breakfast, Cocktails, Main Courses, Salads and Sweets. Recipes range from traditional favorites, such as shortcakes and pies to more exotic dishes like strawberry dumplings, salsa and ceviche.
Individual recipes can be shared with friends, family and online networks by simply posting the recipe to Facebook or Twitter with the click of a button. Recipes can also be emailed to anyone for viewing or printing.
Availability
The Strawberries app for the iPhone and iPod touch is available immediately as a free download at the Apple iTunes Store. Click here to download: http://bit.ly/8LANJo

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