But I'm trying to be a good girl. There's a Biggest Loser challenge going on at work and I mean to help my team - the Zebra Hot Cakes - go for the gold and beat all of the pesky men at my workplace who can just give up drinking beer and lose 30 pounds in one week. (OK, so maybe they didn't lose that much weight in one week, but combined - they probably did. Because men lose weight easier than women do and that is just a travesty. Now I'm off my soap box.)
So I took Heidi's original recipe and I used all of the things that I've ever learned about healthy baking and I applied it to this recipe. And the end result? Maybe not as decadent as Ms. Swanson's original offering, but still a pretty decent treat to make every once in awhile.
You may find the original recipe here. And the picture down below is from that decadent loaf known as Brown Butter Spice Bread. Since my bastardized recipe did not have brown butter (or any butter for that matter), we're just going to call it Spice Bread and call it good.
|This is the last fourth of the original loaf that I made. Then ... it was gone.|
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour **
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon garam masala (Acc'd to original recipe, you can substitute pumpkin pie spice if you do not have garam masala.)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar ***
2 large eggs
1/4 cup well-pureed roasted winter squash
1/4 cup pureed ripe banana
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used Trader Joe's Super Cranberry Pomegranate blend)
1/3 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a a 1-lb loaf pan with baking spray. Sift t into a large bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, squash/banana, and milk. Whisk in the applesauce. Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, garam masala, and sea salt. Stir until just combined. Fold in most of the almonds and the dried fruit.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with 1 tablespoons of sugar and remaining almonds, and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the center of the cake is well set.
Several notes and some commentary: I used a butternut squash that I peeled and seeded. Cutting it into chunks, I roasted the squash in a 400 degree oven until they were cooked and tender. It was a real bitch getting the squash as smooth as I wanted it to be for this recipe ... it was a process that was made easier by adding the banana and the milk to the squash and using my (brand-new!) hand blender to puree it.
And now ... my asterisks.
** The original recipe called for 1 1/2 c. of whole wheat pastry flour. I have had some leftover buckwheat flour that I've been meaning to use up forever. In fact, it came from this recipe from 101 Cookbooks. AMAZING.
*** Are you saying "what the hell is fine grain natural cane or muscovado sugar?" That's OK, because I have moments like that too. What I ended up doing, because I'm kind of into making as big of a mess as possible in my kitchen, is that I used my C&H Washed Raw Sugar and I put it in my coffee bean grinder and blitzed it until it was super-fine. If you want to go this nerdy route, just make sure that you wipe out the coffee residue from your grinder before attempting. And then wipe it out again when you're ready to make coffee.