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Apple Cake

October 11, 2013

Apple Cake 014

Going through my cookbooks has revealed some great new recipes, including this one.

I believe it came from the November 1999 issue of Bon Appetit but it is nowhere to be found on the world-wide web!  But I will share it with you here, starting with the introduction to the recipe: “This cake, a recipe from family friend Arlene Cherner, is a Thanksgiving tradition in the Van Fossan household.”

It includes a Carmel Sauce and Bourbon Whipped Cream which I served with the cake for my dinner guests, making it very elegant.  But it can also be served as is, more in line  with a coffecake. I just  gave my husband a slice this morning with a cup of cappuccino.  Yum.

I did not make the caramel sauce from the recipe because I actually had some that I forgot to serve at our Family Party!  I don’t know whether I was being virtuous for using what I had or just plain lazy!   The one I had and used came from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop:  sugar, heavy cream, salt and vanilla.  You may like the brown sugar version, I have made other recipes like this before, they are a bit easier than the traditional.  I encourage you to try it!

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce and Bourbon Whipped Cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sour cream

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons orange zest (from 2 oranges)

1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1-1/2 medium oranges)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 medium Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and quartered to make 4 cups of diced apples

1 cup chopped walnuts (I did not use the first time, so it’s optional.  both versions are yum.)

Powdered sugar

Caramel Sauce (see recipe)

Bourbon Whipped Cream (see recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 12 cup nonstick Bundt pan.

Ok, so I have a confession.  My cake stuck a bit to the bottom of the pan, as you will see in the picture below.  I made it a second time and it did almost exactly the same thing.  I used Pam Baking spray, which includes oil and flour together.  After talking to my daughter, who only uses butter on her baking pans,  I strongly urge you to butter the Bundt pan.  The cake to me, is still presentable, even with the little stuck part.  Back to the recipe:

Dicing the apples: take one-quarter of the apple, and slice it in half lengthwise.  Keeping the halves together, slice lengthwise into 4 sections.  Then slice again horizontally to make  perfect little 1/2 inch cubes.   4 medium apples should yield 4 cups of diced apples.

Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and whisk together.

Whisk 2 cups sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl to blend (you can use the whisk attachment on your mixer as well).

Stir in flour mixture and whisk together until completely blended.

Pour half of batter into prepared bundt pan.  Sprinkle half of apples over batter, then half of chopped walnuts and half of cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Spoon remaining batter over.  Sprinkle remaining apples, walnuts and cinnamon/sugar mixture over.

Bake cake for 55 minutes.  Cover pan loosely with foil and continue baking until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Cut around pan sides to loosen cake.  Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.  Transfer to a cake platter.  (Can be made one day ahead:  cover cake and keep at room temperature.)

Right before serving, dust cake with sifted powdered sugar.  Serve with warm Caramel Sauce and Bourbon Whipped Cream.

Caramel Sauce

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring first 4 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium high; boil until reduced to 2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Whisk in vanilla.  Cool. (you can make this ahead, refrigerate, and re-warm VERY gently either in a saucepan or microwave.)

Bourbon Whipped Cream

3 cups chilled heavy cream

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup bourbon

Beat cream and sugar in large bowl until soft peaks form.  Add bourbon and beat until stiff peaks form.

This is my very reduced version of the above because I felt it was way too much whipped cream.  I also do not like to whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks.  I enjoy it more when the whipped cream is soft.

1 cup chilled heavy cream

3 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon bourbon

Beat cream and sugar in medium bowl until soft peaks form.  Add bourbon and beat until just combined.

You also can reduce or eliminate the bourbon, depending on your taste preferences.

cut the quartered apple lengthwise, in half:

Apple Cake 001

1/2 inch apple dice:

Apple Cake 002

mise en place:

Apple Cake 005

sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs, orange juice and orange zest:

Apple Cake 006

flour mixture added:

Apple Cake 007

1/2 the batter, with 1/2 the apples and 1/2 cinnamon-sugar and on top:

Apple Cake 008

ready for the oven:

Apple Cake 009

cooling:

Apple Cake 010

almost perfect looking but very delicious (I did not put the confectionary sugar on until right before serving):

Apple Cake 011

with caramel sauce and bourbon whipped cream:

Apple Cake 013

unadorned but equally yummy!

Apple Cake 015

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