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Baking projects help with life’s challenges

  • COURTESY RUNNING PRESS
                                “The Joys of Baking” by Samantha Seneviratne.

    COURTESY RUNNING PRESS

    “The Joys of Baking” by Samantha Seneviratne.

Food writer Samantha Sene­viratne believes cooking is a necessity but baking is a choice.

In her latest cookbook, “The Joys of Baking,” she writes about how baking has become a powerful form of therapy for her, helping her deal with challenges in life.

“The recipes tell the stories of how I fell, how I rose, what I baked and what it meant,” she says in the book’s introduction.

The recipes are organized around five themes: Courage, Grace, Bliss, Love and Wisdom. From the Wisdom chapter, her Apple Snack Cake makes good use of leftover or blemished apples.

“This cake is my best defense against less-than-perfect apples,” Seneviratne writes. “Save the crunchy beauties for eating out of hand.”

APPLE SNACK CAKE

From “The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life” by Samantha Seneviratne (Running Press, 2019, $30)

Unsalted butter, to grease pan

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

2 ounces chopped pecans (1/2 cup)

2-1/2 ounces dried currants (1/2 cup)

2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples (from about 3 small apples)

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch-diameter, 2-inch-deep round cake pan and line bottom with parchment. Butter parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugars, sour cream, vegetable oil and vanilla. Fold in coconut, pecans and currants, making sure currants have separated and mixture is well combined. Next, fold in apples and then the flour mixture.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes.

Cut around edges of cake to loosen it. Flip cake out onto a plate and then carefully flip it back, right-side up, onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar to serve. Serves 8.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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