Those on egg-free diets have a really frustrating time. Because there are relatively few of them (nowhere near as many as are on gluten or dairy-free diets), they tend to get sidelined, both in terms of recipes and ‘made’ products.
So, with the prospect of a nice Easter Sunday tea around a blazing log fire (forget the daffodils and Easter lambs….) – and since I had rather a lot of juicy looking Bramley apples in the bowl – I thought I would do some egg-free baking! Inevitably, I ended up by doing two versions – a chestnut flour one and a polenta one, but both using puréed fruit as a partial egg alternative and fresh dates as a sugar alternative. Both were really nice. The polenta one probably looked nicer as it was more golden (chestnut flour tends to be slightly grey) but I think that the chestnut flour one actually kept better. That is always assuming that there is any left after the first sitting…. For what it is worth, of those who happily munched their way through my two cakes, two were dairy intolerant and the other four could eat anything they wanted.
Anyhow, here goes. As always you should be able to adapt the recipe successfully to accommodate your own sensitivities.
Egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free apple cake
Egg, gluten, nightshade and wheat free; can be corn, dairy, lactose & nut free; no added sugar
Makes a reasonable size cake for 6 (I made two small ones if you are wondering about the size in the picture!)
2 large Bramley apples – approx. 700g of apple, cored and chopped small, skin on
10 fresh dates, pipped and chopped very small
120g coconut oil or butter or dairy-free spread
300g chestnut flour or coarse polenta
4 heaped tsp gluten and wheat-free baking powder
pecan nuts, walnuts or almonds to decorate (optional)
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
Put the chopped apple with the chopped date in a pan with the water, bring to the boil, cover and cook gently for 10–15 minutes or until the apple is totally soft.
In a bowl beat the coconut oil, butter or spread with a wooden spoon until soft. Gradually beat in the apple purée, then thoroughly fold in the chestnut flour or polenta along with the baking powder.
Line the base of a 200cm/8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and spoon in the mixture. Bang it till it flattens then decorate with the nuts if you are using them.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool slightly in the tin then turn out and allow to cool completely on a rack.