Sunday, August 22, 2010
Apple of My Eye Pound Cake
The air is crisp, it's overcast with the threat of rain, and some leaves have started to fall...Autumn is just around the corner.
Also, the early apples are showing up at the Farmer's Markets and chrysanthemums are in the nursery, which here in Washington, is a sure sign!
So, my baking today reflected, not only the weather, but the harvesting of apples to inspire a cake to warm your heart, as well as your belly. I started with my mother's brown sugar pound cake and made some changes. First, I added an apple filling, with a crisp, tart apple and my favorite spices then, I topped off the finished cake with a rich caramel sauce. There's nothing like it on an autumn evening and even if your weather hasn't turned, like ours has, keep this one in mind for a special dessert to welcome your first signs of fall.
Apple of My Eye Pound Cake with Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
5 large eggs
1 tsp. apple flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional, but really good)
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
2 T Boiled Cider
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamon
1/2 tsp. freshly, grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with a non-stick flour/oil spray.
In a medium bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and set aside.
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat for 3-5 minutes to combine completely. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flavorings. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then, alternately add these dry ingredients with the milk to the butter mixture. Beat well to combine. Stir in the pecans, if using.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Carefully place the apple mixture on top, keeping the apples away from the sides of the pan.
Spoon the remaining batter on top of the apples.
Place into the preheated oven and bake 65-75 minutes or until the top of the cake springs bake when you touch it with your fingers. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan at least 15 minutes. Invert pan onto a serving plate and cool completely. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce.
The caramel sauce I made today is a recipe from King Arthur Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 T cold water
6 T butter, melted
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. Vanilla or Vanilla/Butternut, or 1/4 tsp. Butter-Rum or Butterscotch flavor, or 1 T Rum
In a 2-quart saucepan, mix the sugar and water and stir to combine. Place on medium/high heat and bring to a boil--resist stirring. When it comes to a boil, lower heat to medium and watch the syrup carefully, shaking or swirling the pan to keep the syrup moving.
After a couple of minutes, the syrup will begin to darken.
When it reaches a rich amber color, remove it from the heat and stir in the melted butter. Once the butter has been absorbed, add the heavy cream and your choice of flavoring. Cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator, reheat in the microwave before serving. Enjoy!