This cake is the green cousin of the beloved carrot cake. While at first it doesn’t sound too appetizing, the combination of vanilla, apples and kale creates the perfect balance of sweetness, and an ultra-moist cake. This is also a natural and quick alternative to making a green cake for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve had people ask me if I use food coloring to obtain the grassy green color, but it really is just the quantity of kale that is packed into the batter. The cake is superb by itself with coffee but that much better when dressed with layers of dulce de leche and chocolate ganache.
serves 16; PREP time: Active: 30 MIN.; TOTAL: 2 hours
6 cups (about ½ pound) chopped kale
3 Fuji apples, peeled
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
2 Boxes of Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla Cake Mix
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
12 oz. cacao 60% bitter-sweet chocolate
5-6 heaping tablespoons dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 350°. In food processor or high-speed blender combine the apples, kale and unsweetened almond milk and puree until finely blended.
In a separate mixer bowl, combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil, eggs and cinnamon. Beat with an electric mixer until blended, about 2 ½ minutes.
Pour into 32 greased and floured 9- x 1½-inch round baking pans. Bake as directed on box, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.
To make the dulce de leche chocolate ganache: In a medium saucepan, combine and heat ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly just until everything has completely blended to a velvety consistency. Remove from heat and chill until cool enough to spread, about 1/2 hour, checking and stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately.
With a cake knife, slice each of the cakes through the middle. Put layers together by using the top layer of each cake as the bottom piece. With a cake knife, slice each of the cakes through the middle. Put cake layers together by using the top layer of each cake as the bottom and middle pieces. Once topping is set, layer generously with dulce de leche chocolate ganache and frost tops and sides of cake layers.
I was in Harrisburg recently and had the most delicious plate of baked oatmeal at this tiny little restaurant called Yellow Bird Café. It was 5 below that morning, and the oatmeal was just what I needed to give me the courage to face the day. This Sunday is another cold one here in Pittsburgh, so I’m recreating the dish for my family. To make your morning easier, you can prepare the oatmeal the night before, prepare the casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge until the following morning. Then you can simply bake and will have a hearty breakfast to serve with almost no prep time.
SERVES 9 generously; Prep time: Active: 10 min.; TOTAL: 1 hour
1 large apple, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
3 3/4 cups of water (adjust as necessary when sauteing the apples with cinnamon)
6 cups old-fashioned oats
3 ½ cups milk (you can substitute almond milk for a nuttier flavor)
1 cup dulce de leche
Raspberries and blueberries for garnish (or your choice of fresh fruit and slivered almonds)
Preheat oven TO 350°. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine apples, butter, cinnamon and ¼ cup of the water and sauté until apples become soft. Stir often to avoid scalding the cinnamon. Add water, as needed, to maintain a syrupy consistency.
Stir in the rest of the water and milk, dash of salt and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and add dulce de leche and oats, stirring frequently for about 5-7 minutes, or until it thickens and the flavors blend.
Lightly coat a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the oatmeal mixture into the dish, evenly spreading out.
Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is nicely golden and the oatmeal mixture is set.
Allow to cool for five minutes before cutting into. Plate and serve with fresh fruit and a light drizzle of maple syrup or honey.