Friday, September 24, 2021


Autumn has arrived in the Northern hemisphere, the days are becoming colder already, and nothing really warms the soul like a sliver of a good homemade cake and a cup of coffee. The season truly brings so much ripe fruit that it is only natural to use it in as many recipes as possible; and the humble apple offers countless ways of enjoying it. Vastly versatile and perfect for a variety of dishes, apples are particularly rewarding in autumnal treats.
I am a great admirer of desserts that have a good balance between the sweetness and tartness, and this cake is a perfect combination of both worlds; with applesauce, vanilla, and white wine. A little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and with a delightful crunch from the white chocolate glaze. Autumn on a plate.
I used my homemade Applesauce, but any applesauce is fine, really, as long as it is smooth. That way, not only will it give the cake a wonderful apple flavour and plenty of moisture, but it will also make the cake layers easier to slice and serve.

For the applesauce cake layers
400 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
200 grams light brown sugar
120 grams vegan block butter
200 grams unsweetened applesauce
350 millilitres unsweetened apple juice
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the white wine cream filling
800 millilitres unfined white wine
100 grams granulated sugar
80 grams cornflour
120 grams vegan block butter, diced
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the white chocolate decoration
100 grams vegan white chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
150 millilitres plant double cream

Start by making the white wine cream filling, as it needs time to cool down. Take about 100 millilitres of the wine and set it aside, as it will be needed for mixing with the cornflour. Pour the rest of the wine into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place it over medium heat, and slowly let it cook down to about half of the initial volume. This will make the wine flavour more prominent. Take the reserved wine and whisk it together with the cornflour and the sugar. Pour this mixture into the bubbling wine and let it slowly heat up. As soon as it starts to steam, start whisking. Let it come to a gentle boil, and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts resembling a glossy pudding. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a minute or two. Add in the butter, one piece at a time, whisking constantly, until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla, cover the top with cling film, and let it cool down to room temperature.
While the filling is cooling down, make the cake layers. Sif the flour, cornflour, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl. Add in the light brown sugar, mix very well, and set it aside.
Melt the vegan butter over low heat or in the microwave, and let it cool down slightly. In another bowl, whisk together the applesauce, apple juice, and the vanilla bean paste. Once the butter is lukewarm, add it to the applesauce mixture, and blend very well.
Pour all of it into the sifted dry ingredients, and mix gently until combined, and no dry patches of flour are visible. Line four small round cake pans (15 cm in diameter), with baking parchment. Divide the batter equally among them, and bake, in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 15-20 minutes.
They need to remain light in colour, but do check with a toothpick, to make sure they are baked, and not dry. Do keep in mind that, depending on your oven, they might bake a little longer, so checking frequently is the key. Once baked, let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then turn them out to a large wire rack to continue cooling.
When the filling is cool to the touch, mix it with an electric mixer on high, until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Divide it into three equal parts by weight, and set aside. Once everything is ready, start assembling the cake.
Level the cake layers if needed, and place the first one on the cake platter. Be additionally careful with them, because they will be quite soft and perhaps lightly sticky. Place a cake ring around the first layer, line it with a tall sheet of acetate, and tighten the ring so it stays in place. Add a third of the filling over the cake, level it gently, and place another cake layer on top. Continue stacking the cake in this fashion, until all of the layers and filling are used up. Cover the top with cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
Just before serving, melt together the vegan white chocolate with the vegetable oil, either over very low heat or in the microwave. Let it cool down for a few moments, glaze the entire cake, and place it back into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or so. If desired, whip some plant double cream, and decorate the cake further. Serve well chilled. Yields 20 servings. © TINA VESIĆ 2021