Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bundt #2 of BCS5: Caramel Apple Cake

Baked on October 14, 2012

Our local neighborhood association had its annual meeting on October 14th.  Part of the meeting included an "apple fest" where folks were to bring an apple dish.  Clearly, I had only one option, which was to make an apple bundt cake.  My first destination for a recipe was my favorite bundt cookbook, Kiss My Bundt by Chrysta Wilson, but sadly, no apple cake recipes were to be found there.  So, my next stop was the old school Bundt Cookbook put out by the originators of the bundt pan, Nordic Ware.  There, I was drawn to the Caramel Apple Cake.  And so, it was decided that was the cake I was bringing to the annual meeting.

Because I was running late (as usual) I neglected to take any pictures of the cake, until after the meeting.  (As you can see from the picture for this post.)  You can also see that the cake was well received, which was interesting to me, since I, myself, did not love this cake.  The caramel glaze really was not caramel-y.  Instead, it had an almost maple flavor.  I think it's due to all the powdered sugar in the glaze recipe.  If I were to make this again, I'd find something more traditionally caramel--butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk (or even better, cream).  So, that's my recommendation to you.  Find a better glaze.  (If you look at the picture, you can see the glaze is not the right color for caramel--that's all that powered sugar mucking things up.)

I don't remember much about this cake (see, this is a problem with waiting three months to write your posts), just that I thought it was okay.  Again, though, other people really liked it.  One neighbor even asked me for the recipe, as it was her favorite item there!  And another neighbor, when I mentioned on Facebook that I didn't love the cake, also gave it high praise--and she described herself as being "fussy."  So, there ya go.  Oh, speaking of that FB post, I see I said that if I were to make the cake again, I'd leave out the raisins (and I like raisins!).  So, that's good to know.

So, yeah, now that you're all excited to try this cake for yourself, here's the recipe.

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups, peeled, thinly sliced apples
1 cup chopped nuts (I think I used pecans.  And you should always toast nuts for the best flavor.)
1/2 cup raisins (like I said, I'd leave these out; let the apples shine.  Hell, maybe add another 1/2 of apples?)

For the glaze (Though again, I really, really recommend finding a different glaze! Unless you want a more maple-y glaze, then use this one.):
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 4 teaspoons milk
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped nuts

Directions for the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray pan with baking spray (or you can use the grease & flour method).
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.
In a large bowl, blend all cake ingredients except nuts and raisins, beat 2 minutes at high speed.
I am certain I did not follow that step, but rather, whisked the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in one bowl.  And then, in my stand mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes on medium, until light.  Then slowly added the sugar, and let it mix for another two minutes, until fluffy.  Then I would have added the eggs one at a time.  And then added the vanilla.  Finally adding the dry ingredients in batches.  At which point, I'm guessing I let it mix for 2 minutes, per the directions above.
Stir in nuts and raisins.
Spoon into prepared pan.
Bake 45 - 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool upright in the pan 30 minutes; invert onto a serving plate.
Cool completely.

Directions for the glaze (or try this one, it looks good):
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Stir in brown sugar; remove from heat. (I know I kept it on the heat and let it cook for a little while, in an effort to get it more caramel-y.)
Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk; blend well.
Immediately spoon over cake.
Sprinkle with nuts.

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