Hello, National Caramel Apple Day– at least according to some sources. Some websites claim October 31st as National Caramel apple day. Others call the 31st National Candy Apple Day. All I know is that it’s the perfect excuse to make something with the apples we picked last weekend.
Toffee Apple Cake
inspired by David Lebovitz’ ‘Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding’ recipe
Lebovitz’ Toffee Sauce-
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp molasses
1/8 tsp salt
My Apple Cake-
2/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup raisins
1-1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecans, crushed
3 medium apples (Pink Lady, Granny Smith)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp walnuts or pecans, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large heavy sauce pan, combine cream, brown sugar, molasses, and 1/8 tsp salt.
Over medium heat, bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove it from the heat, setting it aside to cool.
In a small sauce pan, heat apple juice and raisins until simmering. Mine are bubbling because I added a pinch of baking soda. I don’t know why, but Lebovitz’ cake, which had dates in it, used the soda with the water. I’m not a food chemist, so I figured, What the hell. In the future, I won’t do it. The soda made the raisins taste a little off.
Remove from heat. Strain and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
In mixer, cream butter and sugar together
Add each egg to the mixture– one at a time– followed by the vanilla until fully incorporated.
On low speed, add the flower mixture until just mixed together.
Remove bowl from mixer.
Peel the three apples.
Cut the 1st apple– I use a Granny Smith– into 1/4 inch horizontal slices.
Core the slices (they’ll look like apple rings).
Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
Lay the apple rings on the bottom of the prepared cake pan, sprinkle with 1 tbsp pecans and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Set aside.
Peel the remaining apples, and grate them into a bowl (or a small dish).
Mix the grated apples with the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Gently squeeze the shredded apples to remove the excess juice. I used the Pink Lady apples for this part, and there was a lot of extra juice.
Then add the shredded apples, strained raisins, and remaining pecans to the batter.
Gently fold them into the batter.
Gently spread the batter over the apple rings in the cake pan.
I started checking the cake after about 25 minutes. Ultimately, it was finished around 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. It’s done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let it cool for approximately 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, and poke holes all over the top of the cake. I couldn’t find any of my skewers, so I used a straw.
Then pour about half of the toffee sauce over the top,
and let the cake sit for another 10 minutes.
Place a plate over the top of the cake,
and give it a few taps. The cake– hopefully– will come out of the pan without making too much of a mess.
Not very pretty (the photo or the cake), is it?
Drizzle and spread another 1/4 of the toffee sauce over the top.
Sprinkle with pecans, if desired. I didn’t have any more, so I used some walnuts that I found in the pantry.
The cake was compact, but not heavy. The apples did a great job of keeping it moist, and there was just enough spice to keep things interesting.
Serve with a spoonful of the toffee sauce.
I really need to get some new plates for props, huh?
Happy National Caramel Apple Day.
Yield: 8-12 slices