Friday, 12 October 2012

and I'm carbo loading - Torta di Mele

Breast Cancer Awareness Italian Lunch Fundraiser

The social club at work put on a lunch today to raise money for Breast Cancer Care WA  and although I am not a part of the social club team (but I am a member) I always love to participate in fundraiser where baking is concerned. Actually, I love to participate when food has nothing to do with it either. Once a month we have a free dress day and the money raised through donation goes to a sponsor child in Cambodia. I volunteered to be the collector in my area. Earlier this year we had a fundraising team to raise money for the RSPCA and I managed to raise the most amount of money. It's not a competition for me. I just try my best to help out. It is very important to me to donate my time and money to good causes. My ultimate goal is to raise $1000 for a charity for my 30 before 30. I am currently stuck on a cause though. Hopefully one will find me if I can't find one.

But I digress. So today we had an Italian inspired lunch in our games room. I offered to bake something to contribute and I googled Italian deserts and found 'Torta di Mele', which is an Italian apple cake. Other than having to peel, core and slice 8 apples, the cake was really easy to make.

Torta Di Mele

Other food on offer included two types of pasta bake, an absolutely delicious lasagna, three different salads, two types of pasta with around 4 different sauces and a mushroom risotto. Dessert included chocolate banana bread, tiramisu, and berrymisu as well as my apple cake. I am very happy to say that my cake was devoured!

Here is a link to the recipe: Nonna's Italian Apple Cake. After not much looking, I couldn't find Golden Delicious apples so I used Granny Smith. I also stuffed up the temperature. I just turned the oven on to warm up. I normally go back and adjust it before I am anywhere near using it. But I forgot and instead of 180 it was on closer to 220.... Just a small oversight. When I went to check the cake I noticed it was starting to brown on top, but yet it was only half way through it's cooking time. I realised my mistake and immediately opened up the oven to cool it down and turned the temperature to 160C. I moved the cake to the bottom shelf and tested the cake with a skewer. It was still uncooked in the centre but the top and sides were done. I did some quick research and then sprayed cooking oil on top and then covered the cake in alfoil. I have no idea if any of this was the right thing to do but it worked. I watched the cake like a hawk constantly checking it. When it was done I took it out. It took around 15 minutes less then it should have if I used the correct settings.

I called the top 'caramelised' and served it with icing sugar on top as the recipe says, and nobody was the wiser. The cake wasn't at all dry and it was cooked perfect all of the way through. I always say that anyone can bake, that parts easy enough. What makes baking hard is knowing how to save a disaster, and I have had plenty of those.

At the end of the lunch I helped clean up. We had so much pasta and sauce left over that someone went out and brought a stack of take away containers and we divided the left overs and people donated $2 per container for dinner that night or many people put them in the work freezers for a lazy lunch next week at work. I ended up buying 7. I hate seeing good food go to waste. All in all we raised over $200 for the cancer council. Which is pretty successful I think, considering we don't have a very large office.

Well it's off to bed for me now. I have a big day of more baking tomorrow plus one, maybe two parties to attend.

Love, love Elle.

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