Friday, May 16, 2014

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

It's been a long time since I've cooked from a recipe a friend has given me, but I did just that last week, or was that earlier this week?

Hmmm

Time tends to get away from me sometimes.

Jon has been asking me to make an Apple cake with him for about a year now, but our schedules never seemed to mesh, so he sent me the recipe a couple of weeks ago and asked me to go ahead and make it for Boat Club.
Fresh Apple Cake

So I did.

And here's his recipe as written.   I did modify it a tad, but my notes as to what I did differently are at the bottom. 

Fresh Apple Cake Recipe

11/2 stick margarine
1 stick butter
2 cup sugar
3 well beaten eggs
3 or 4 cups peeled and chopped fresh apples
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp. soda

Grease and flour 4 pans.  Cream butter, margarine and sugar.  Add extracts. Add eggs.  Add apples.  Combine flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and soda and sift 3 times. (I actually only sift it once).  Add to butter/apple mixture.  Bake@25 minutes@350.

Memom's Caramel Icing
2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
5 tbsp milk or cream (but I remember her recipe at home called for evaporated milk)
1/2 tsp. baking powder (make sure there NO LUMPS or you will have bitter spots in the icing)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Bring brown sugar, butter and milk/cream to a boil slowly.  After it starts to boil, do NOT stir.  Cook 2 minutes, NO MORE.  Remove from heat & let stand until it no longer boils.  Add baking powder and vanilla.  Beat until stiff enough to pour on cake.  Can add confectioners sugar if you need a little more.

***My Recipe***

2 sticks butter
2 scant cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups peeled and diced apples
1 tsp. lemon extract (I used my own home-made extract, I'll post the recipe for that later on)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 scant teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (well worth keeping a couple on hand and using your microplane to grate them fresh when needed.  I find Nutmeg can hijack a recipe very quickly, so I use just a little less, especially when freshly grated).
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups sifted White Lily Flour (or use 1/2 cake flour and 1/2 all purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer until the mixture is white in color. 
You're trying to get the sugar dissolved into the butter.  By creaming it, you actually make the whole cake lighter in texture and I think it tastes better.   While it was creaming I greased and floured 3 cake pans, and then peeled and chopped the apples and placed them in a acidulated water bath.  ( which is just a fancy way of saying I squeezed a half lemon into some water). 


This keeps the apples from browning or oxidizing in the air.
Didn't know you were getting a science lesson, did you?

Although, I won't peel the apples when I make this again, as I think the peels are good for you.  
Chopped Apples

 Turn oven on, and heat to 350 degrees. 
After the butter and sugar have been creamed, add one egg to the mixer bowl and mix well,  after the first egg has been incorporated, add the second and then the third egg, letting the mixer incorporate each egg for a minute or so.   Then add the extracts.  I added a little lemon zest here as well, mainly cause my lemon extract wasn't quite ready, but I think it helped the flavour.
Drain the apple dices and then add them to the batter, just mixing them in a little.
Sift the flour, spices and baking soda on top of the apple batter and mix together.

Spoon one third of the batter into each pan and smooth the top a little.
Bake for 25 minutes and then check to make sure they are cooked all the way through.  I found that they were pulling away from the sides just a little bit and looked and smelled so good when I got them out.
After baking, place on rack to cool for about 10 minutes and then loosen the sides and take out of pans.

I then made the Caramel Icing according to the recipe and instructions, but for some reason I had it 'seize' up on me, and I think I know I did wrong.  So, follow the instructions.

After you've beaten up the icing, let it sit for a minute while you get a nice cake plate out.  Place the first cake layer on the platter and spoon a quarter of the icing over it, smoothing it out a little,
place the next layer on top,
and add another quarter of the icing, and smooth that out.   Finish off with last cake and pour the rest of the icing over it,
letting it drip down the sides.
Smooth it out a little if necessary.    When i make this again, I will actually pour the icing over top of the cakes while they are still warm.  (Or make a 7 Minute Frosting and then spoon a little caramel sauce over that.)
Set aside and let it set up, then cut and eat it .
  And here's all that was left after Boat Club.
I will say that the cakes themselves were good, I didn't care for the caramel icing, it was too sweet for my taste, but I just scraped it off and ate the rest. 

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Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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