Apple Cake -killertomato

This is a very easy recipe for apple cake that's also pretty economical. Even the caramel icing doesn't use much of the butter, cream and sugar it calls for. If you have never baked a cake, this one is great to start with. I'll walk you through the caramel but the cake could be finished without any icing in my opinion.
This cake is like most and gets better and better with the quality of the ingredients. If you are making this in the fall, you can find interesting varieties of apples around you. Apples have the potential to produce infinte varieties, so why not give them a chance at survival? Red Delicious and Granny Smith are all fine and good but they're like that annoying little bastard who always got picked first for the team while you inwardly cursed at the bores who just went safe instead of with you. I went on the hunt to see what I could find. The first trip was to the weekly farmer's market that is held near by, but it was too early perhaps, and I'm not even sure that any of the usual farmers there are growing apples (we did find some small pears). So being lucky enough to live close to the State Farmer's Market in Forest Park, GA (which is near Hartsfield Airport) I drove there the day before baking and found several farmers from the North Georgia Mountains showing off their apples. There were many different kinds including the usual suspects, and I wound up choosing Mutsus for their softness. They were selling by the bag and the smallest was $5, so with the rest I'll be making and freezing apple sauce for the baby, as she loves it in her morning oatmeal.
Here's the recipe:
3 c. flour
4 eggs
2 1/2 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 apples, peeled and sliced
1 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. orange juice
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbs. sugar to dress apples
2 tsp. cinnamon* to dress apples
Grease and flour tube pan. Why a tube pan? Because it will be much easier to get your heavy cake out of the pan without disaster striking if you can remove the bottom. Peel and slice apples and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

I agree with (Peter) here that whole cinnamon is the best thing to use if you've got it. It's cheaper by the bag and you just put it into a coffee grinder to pulvarize it into a super pungent powder that will leave a lasting impression on the tongue later.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. *See bottom of page to get a recipe for homemade baking powder. Sift it 3 or 4 times for a lighter texture. I swear by this, even for pancakes. Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange juice and oil in that order, whisking after each one. Combine with dry mixture and stir well, until all is smooth. Batter will be thick. Pour half into pan and then put apples in, then the rest of the mix. Bake 80 minutes at 350 degrees. As with all cakes, it may take less or more time, depending on your oven, etc. If the cake is beginning to pull away from the pan and a toothpick comes out clean, it's done. In my electric oven, it was about 70 minutes.
Caramel glaze:
(This may or may not be the same recipe we used in a restaurant I once worked at. I guess if someone comes across this and is pissed, they can just leave a spiteful comment. I really don't remember as I use several different caramel recipes now.)
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
salt (pinch or dash depending on your love of salty caramel.)
1/2 c. half and half or heavy cream- half and half works fine and you can use it for more things later.
Get a fairly big saute pan, just don't use a tiny one, and put it over medium high heat. Put cold butter in and let it melt a little, don't think you are helping the process along by letting the butter soften a little-you're not. Add everything else, and your cream needs to be cold too. Now just slide the pan back and forth towards you without stopping. Watch it all start melting and swirling together. Tell it that it's beautiful. Keep going. See those bubbles? Good, it's coming to a boil. Keep going. Now it's starting to form a blob, like brown ectoplasm perhaps. It's starting to grow legs as if it may stand up and try to ooze out of the pan and go attack a town. As it starts to pull away from the pan and form a cohesive mass like this, take a spoon that you have nearby and let some of the caramel run off it. Does it go fast or slow? Thick or thin? Just as it starts to go slowly and heavily, take the pan over to the apple cake and begin spooning it over the top. You can see it thickening up qickly so you must do this right away. YUM!
Baking powder- Two parts baking soda mixed with one part cream of tartar makes baking powder. Sift them together to make sure it's all even. It keeps for a while but I usually make just enough, to avoid future stress.

1 comment:

  1. i want to be with that cake, oh my lordy lordy lord. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. yummy.