Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze - made November 16, 2013 from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott
It's autumn and the days are finally getting a bit chilly. I actually wore a long-sleeved sweater to work recently - no coat but still, I live in sleeveless and short-sleeved blouses most of the time so you know there's got to be a nip in the air if I wear something that comes all the way down to my wrists. Regardless of the weather, fall still says apples to me and I was in the mood for an apple cake so I searched through my baking books to come up with this one.
This is similar to a carrot cake in that it's an oil-based cake.  Which means it'll probably be moist and a bit dense and so it was.  It was also delicious.  The batter is really thick, almost like cookie dough when I finished mixing, but don't worry, the apples add a lot of moisture in baking so it's not going to be dry. It was a bit dense so don't look for a fluffy texture but I liked both the texture and the taste.
However, where I had a baking fail is with the frosting.  I forgot this was the same book where I also had an epic fail with caramel frosting in making Gigi's Fabulous Caramel Cake. Give me points for consistency because I failed again.  The brown sugar caramel was fine and nicely liquid in the pan but once I took it off the stove and started pouring it over the warm cake, it hardened up into a concrete-like penuche consistency even before I finished emptying all of the frosting over the cake. Which made spreading it evenly and nicely an impossible task.  Ugh. Once it had cooled and I cut it, the "frosting" broke apart in slabs.  I kid you not.  I could even easily pluck it off in slabs from the top of the cake, leaving the cake naked, stripped bare and ugly. Talk about cake wreck. Fortunately the cake itself tasted fantastic and is worth making again.  Next time, I'm going to leave the frosting off completely (the cake doesn't need it) or sprinkle cinnamon sugar over it for a little crunch.  I'm staying away from caramel frostings until the trauma of baking failure passes.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups finely chopped apples (I used organic Fuji apples)

Brown Sugar Glaze (make at your own peril)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons heavy cream (you might want to add more and/or switch to whole milk for a more runny consistency)
  1. Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt whisking light to mix everything together.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a mixer on low speed until pale yellow and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture and continue stirring the batter til the flour disappears. Add the apples and stir to mix them into the batter.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Place the hot cake on a wire rack. 
  7. Glaze: While the cake is still hot, prepare the glaze. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving.

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