Thursday, March 26, 2015

Last Prep for Winefest and a Revised Apple Cake

The Winefest Renaissance 2015 is coming up quickly. It will be held this Saturday evening at the Ward Hotel. The event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen area. 

I have been working daily on various aspects of the foods I will pair with the wines at the event. Today I did my last grocery run, grilled the flank steaks (which will be sliced once cold and rolled with little cheese logs), heated together the olive oil and garlic that will be brushed on the little English muffin halves,  combined the pizza sauce, pepperoni and Parmesan for the mini English Muffin Pizzas, printed the name badges for all of us involved. And now it is 5 PM already. 

Tomorrow we have two friends arriving to stay with us for a bit, and they will also be attending the event. I have their bedrooms readied. I will slice and roll the flank steak tomorrow. Some of the frozen foods will be thawed. Breads will be thawed and sliced. And the day will be gone before I know it. Saturday will be finishing everything off. Baking the Mini English Muffin Pizzas, making the mixture for the little Asparagus Quiches. Reheating the mole to take off the chill. Last minute prep work before leaving. And the night will be over before I can even think. It gets so busy that time just ceases to exist. 

Then prep for Easter will start. I am going to make the Bacalao a la Vizcaina for Good Friday, though I do not truly celebrate Easter anymore except for the fact of the family coming together on that day. I will get a ham to have at home, make some of the Beets with Horseradish to go with it just because I cannot conceive of having a ham without it, and I already made bread; it is in the freezer for when needed. 

Apple Cake, Revised

Fresh Apple Cake, made with fresh apples instead of frozen

In the meantime, I wanted to make an update on the Fresh Apple Cake recipe I posted on March 14th. I used frozen apples for this cake, though once they thawed enough to use, they made the cake exceedingly soggy. While neither my husband nor my sister-in-law had any problem with the cake as it stood, and nor did I, this texture might not be everyone's cup of tea. I bought some fresh apples and cut them in small bits and added them to a slightly revised cake batter. This time the cake was exactly as I had hoped. The cake was like cake; nice and moist, but not pudding-y. The apples did their job without oozing all over.  Here is my revised recipe, using true, fresh apples. I used Pink Lady apples, but other types would also work, as would a combination. I only needed three apples to make the 4 cups for the cake.

Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake

makes one 13 x 9-inch cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 cups fresh peeled, cubed small

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
1 tablespoon milk or water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 on Convection Bake). Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the first 8 (dry) ingredients. Separately, mix together the melted butter with the honey, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Combine these liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients until no dry ingredients remain. Add in the apples and stir well. Pour this batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes (longer if needed). Make the glaze by stirring together all the glaze ingredients. Set the glaze aside.

Allow the cake to cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before drizzling on the glaze. 

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.