Monday, December 2, 2013

Naughty and Nice

I am terrible. I realized that it's been nearly two months since my last post. It's not for lack of food stuffs, we had a fantastic trip to Chicago, another trip to New Orleans and I've been baking and cooking up a storm. I have about 5 posts started, but haven't been able to find time to finish them.

However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I would post a recipe that I just made for an Apple Cake covered in Salted Caramel. I made it for Thanksgiving and our guests couldn't get enough. You can add raisins, walnuts, dried cranberries, you can top with with caramel sauce or powdered sugar or leave it plain. We served it alongside Tiahetian Vanilla Bean gelato, and covered it with some additional Salted Caramel because, why not?!

And as a side note, this cake is kosher. I found the cake recipe on  Food 52 and made a few modifications.

Apple Cake Ingredients:

3 cups Flour, I used Cake Flour, you can use all-purpose

1 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil2 cups Sugar3 Eggs1 TSP Salt1 TSP Cinnamon1 TSP Baking Soda1 TSP Vanilla3 Apples (I used Granny Smith, you can use anything on the tarter side) peeled, cored, quartered and cut into thick pieces

Salted Caramel Ingredients:

1 cup Sugar
6 TBS Butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 TSP Kosher Salt (it has a thicker grain than regular idolized salt)

Make the Salted Caramel first, since it needs to cool off before you use it. Also, be careful as you're making the caramel, it's really hot and can splatter while you're making it. My right hand learned that the hard way.

Heat the sugar in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat. You will need to stir it constantly with a rubber spatula. It's going to take about three or four minutes of stirring, but the sugar will  begin to form clumps and will eventually melt and turn into a thick brown colored liquid. Keep stirring and be sure not to burn yourself.

When the sugar is melted, add the butter. But be careful, as the mixture can start to sputter. Stir until the butter is completely melted. The mixture will start to look like caramel.

Then, slowly, drizzle in the cream. Make sure that you keep stirring.

Once all of the cream is added, let the mixture boil for one minute and then remove from the heat. Add the salt and let it cool before using.

To make the Apple Cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You can use any type of cake pan, I used a bundt cake, you can use an angel food cake or even a regular cake pan. I liked the bundt cake pan because the caramel sauce pours nicely over it and it looked pretty on my footed cake platter.

In a mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment, beat the oil and sugar together for around five minutes.

Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine flower, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Slowly stir the mixture into the batter. When fully incorporated, add the vanilla and the apples.

Turn the mixer on a low setting and combine. Don't worry about the apples getting broken up, it's part of the process!

Transfer the batter into the cake pan and bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let it cool before removing the cake from the pan. This is really hard for me, I'm notorious for trying to take the cake out too soon. But trust me, it's worth the wait.

When the cake is cooled and you're ready to glaze, place the cake on a cooling rake and put wax paper below the rack.

Drizzle the salted caramel over the apple cake. When the caramel has stopped dripping (about five minutes after you finished pouring it over the cake). Remove and place on whatever serving platter you're using.

Serve with ice cream and drizzle that leftover caramel!


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