Saturday, March 14, 2015

Making an Apple Cake

There are all sorts of Apple Cakes out there, and I have made quite a few. Today, i have invited my sister in law over for dinner and wanted to make something for dessert using apples, because my freezer still has a lot of bags of peeled, sliced apples from Fall of 2013. They have begun settling into large ice chunks, so they need using. Normally what I make with these is my Best Apple Crisp, Ever, because that is exactly what it is. The. Best. Ever. But aside from appetizers being created for the upcoming wine event, I haven't made a lot of anything else new. 

My Fresh Apple Cake, just Glazed
So, I put on my thinking cap and came up with an idea. As I stated, I have made quite a few variations of cakes and desserts with apples. There is a cake recipe that uses fresh apples (Fresh Apple Pecan Date Cake) and is wonderfully moist and delicious. I have made another recipe using chunks of fresh apple, though that one came straight from a cookbook. I wanted something similarly moist and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Looking at a recipe I made for a second time last week (Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake), and which I love for the wonderfully tender and moist cake part, I used these three recipes to create a separate style where I could fold in some of these frozen apples.

The batter came out lovely and tasty. I folded in the apples, partly thawed and with most of the ice bits. I estimated a baking time of 40 to 45 minutes and took it out at 40 minutes because it seemed to be testing clean at that point.

A few minutes ago I sliced into the cake to take a few photos of the sliced piece and foung that the center of the cake is more of a pudding cake consistency. For me, that is perfect. Not sure how my husband and his sister will feel about it. The flavors are absolutely wonderful and just what I hoped. If anyone has ever had or made a pudding cake, they generally call for a fair bit of liquid poured over the cake batter before baking. This causes the resultant cake to settle towards the top and underneath it creates the pudding layer, sort of reversing itself as it bakes. I take leave to wonder if my semi-thawed apple slices, with all the ice bits around them, caused a similar thing to occur? Who knows. 

Fresh (frozen) Apple Cake, sliced
I might have baked it a few minutes longer, but I believe it may have started to burn at the edges, if so. It was beautifully browned at 40 minutes. When I lightly pressed on the center, it sprang back, just as a cake does when it is fully baked. Except for a few moist crumbs, a toothpick came out clean. I am going to say that I will certainly try this again, though I have no complaint with the flavors. I will try it with a few more minutes of baking time. Though, the remaining apples in the bag will be totally thawed and the liquid will be far too much for the recipe. Maybe I will eliminate part of the buttermilk, allowing the apple liquid to be the recipe's liquid, or maybe I will eliminate the honey, which is what causes it to brown so beautifully.

For now, this is what I did:

Fresh (Frozen) Apple Cake

Fresh (Frozen) Apple Cake
makes one 13 x 9-inch cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
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
1 cup buttermilk
4 cups fresh peeled, sliced, apples (or frozen)

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 6 (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 int he 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