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Vegan Apple Cake with Corn Flour

Saturday, April 27, 2013
Vegan Apple Cake with Corn Flour

What's left to say about apple pie? Does it make sense to talk about it one more time, and pull out yet another version, different and always the same, when we've already used pages over pages of the blogosphere in its honor, and we've already emptied wagons full of cyber-praises in perpetual memory of it? After years of glorious dipping, do we really need to remind ourselves that not only it still exists, the stoic and fragrant Countess of the five o'clock tea, the soft Queen of breakfast latte, but it also wins the challenge against the sophistry of modern snacks thanks to its moving and unwavering simplicity?
The answer - I think - is all here, in the sincere and soft scent that has inundated my closet kitchen, while I was desperately trying to find a reason and make sense of this post.
So I realize that apple cake needs no justification, whether you like it or not it's like a scrapbook, always nice to browse and always ready to welcome an extra page. Each one has its own, with their personal stories, their grandmother and their summer afternoons; but when you look at the group photos with all the classmates, the snapshots taken at six year old, or the portraits of tanned and light faces under the August sky, as if by magic, in those looks, poses and smiles you'll find the same questions full of certainties, one big illusion flashing in those unsuspecting eyes.
Apple cake speaks a universal language, be it vegan, à la mode or American pie, with its vintage postcard's look and its cozy and pleasant scent; it gathers geographies and generations inside the same ampoule of peace, it surrounds the heart and the mind with the same warm and sincere illusion.
There will never be an end to apple cakes; as thoughts full of sense and mutually enriching, they are coming one after the other eternally separated by a semicolon. After an apple cake you can't put a period, let alone start a new paragraph; apple cake is like spring that returns always new to warm your guts, even if you leave an empty line in the middle.
And so this end of April of mine, without apology and without a reason, is just another apple cake with a semicolon at the end, different but luckily a little bit the same as before, and it adds to the list, to the end of the thought that goes on, it's another page no longer empty in the universal album of memories.


Vegan Apple Cake
with Corn Flour and Olive Oil

for a round cake pan of 9" diameter
type 0 flour 250 gr
fine ground corn flour 180 gr
corn starch 70 gr
sugar 200 gr
salt 1 pinch
soy yogurt 300 gr
olive oil 170 gr
lemon 1
baking powder 16 gr (1 small satchel)
raisins 80 gr
rice milk (or soy, or oat) approx. 1/2 glass
apple 1
cane sugar, cinnamon, powdered sugar to taste


Soak raisins in milk for a few minutes, drain and set aside. Beat yogurt with sugar, a pinch of salt and the lemon zest until there are no more lumps. Combine and sift together flours, baking powder, and cornstarch, and gradually stir them in, alternating the addition of olive oil and enough milk so that the dough gets soft but firm enough to drop heavily from the spoon. Add the raisins and mix. Peel the apple, cut it into thin slices and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Pour the batter into the baking pan, previously greased and dusted with flour, arrange the apple slices on top, and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar mixed with a little cinnamon.
Bake at 360 for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool off, then dust the surface with powdered sugar

Cake Accessories

Strawberry Agua Fresca

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Strawberry Agua Fresca

their eyes
the scent of the sea
I need flowers and grass
wheat, sun.
sugar and strawberries
moon, wind, letters and colors.
I need ideas
the sound of a smile,
to share a night
or paint the winter,
I need brotherly love
wine, milk, and salt.
I feel it bursting from inside
this desire, a mirage of life
it suffocates me, it quenches
it burns
it consoles
~ Anonymous to the wall, Strawberries in Winter


Strawberry Agua Fresca
for 4 people

strawberries, net 600 gr
water 750 ml ca.
lime 2
sugar 3/4 tablespoons

Wash strawberries, remove their stalk and blend well until they are reduced to a puree. Pass through a sieve with fine meshes and discard seeds. Add water, lime juice and sugar, and mix well until the sugar is completely dissolved. If you want, add a few leaves of fresh mint or basil. Serve the drink cold, preferably in the middle of a sunny day.

Vintage Straws and Colander


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We always run in one direction
but what it is and what is its meaning, who knows...

~ Francesco Guccini, Running Into You

My name is L., but friends call me RunningWolf.
I started by accident one summer afternoon, I was twelve year old, not yet really, and dew was covering my skin. At half past six on a Sunday in July, I kicked the door open and started following the direction of the wind. I found myself that day on empty streets and paths moist with tears and rain, going through the pink sky at sunset and the smell of freshly picked grass. I was running after dreams and clouds to escape the offenses, looking for shelter from the fear of being and my almost teenage anger.
I then ran for a time that seemed endless, amid furtive and guilty kisses, Sundays devoted to feast and exclusive friendships sworn forever. I ran for boredom, futility and shame, chasing a scent of rebellion that didn't belong to us anymore.
I ran through my twenties, in the heart I was carrying one single memory always too close, and in the head eternal fantasies of freedom. I ran to the notes of an off pitch violin, to the verses of poems recited to the moon, dreaming of a romantic future that corresponded to my reality.
I ran alone and at night to escape ghosts and mirrors; I, whom no-one ever saw staying up late, was confusing and mixing this way darkness and dawn. I ran on ice in the winter to mask the cold coming up from within, and from my frozen lips I blew away insecurity and pride. I ran to forget, bury and forgive; I ran for redemption, devotion and renunciation.
Then one day I ran 26 miles in a row, my calves hardened by fatigue and my mind scared by the wall and concrete. I ran alone with a thousand people, fifteen years in a few steps through a handful of neighborhoods, and on that day I found myself at the finish line.

Diary of a pretending marathoner
New York, November 7th 2004

Granola Tray

for 8 people

rolled oats 300 gr
sliced almonds 100 gr
pecan nuts (or walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews) 100 gr
dried coconut flakes 80 gr
dark brown sugar 60 gr
maple syrup 110 gr
light vegetable oil 40 gr
salt 1 teaspoon
raisins 125 gr


Roughly chop pecans. Mix them with oats, almonds, coconut and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix maple syrup, oil and salt. Pour wet ingredients over the nut mixture, and mix well.
Place granola on two baking sheets and bake at 250 for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring frequently so that it gets a uniform color. Allow it to cool down, then add raisins.
It will keep for weeks in an airtight container; eat it with milk or yogurt, and/or fruit.


Granola is pure crunchy energy. Early in the morning it gives wings to your feet.
Word of a running wolf.