I caught a ride home last night and found myself with an afternoon to myself and some beautiful Gala apples that the Jones clan had yet to eat. I decided to make a caramel apple cake that I made a week ago at Rowan.
It was surprisingly easy, and didn’t require any unusual ingredients. I’ll admit that I had to run out to pick up some caramels for the topping, but the rest were typical baking fare.
The hardest part about making this autumn cake is waiting the 65 minutes or so for it to come out of the oven.
Here’s a look at the ingredients, minus the 6 oz. container of vanilla yogurt.
I had already pitched the container into the garbage can … and there are just some things that I won’t do. Anyway, there’s no milk in this mix. Instead, the yogurt gives the cake a silky smooth texture.
* The recipe on Once Upon a Plate calls for walnuts, but my younger brother is allergic. I’ve had the cake both ways and say sprinkle some on as you see fit.
Anyway, enough about the cake. Here’s the recipe –
1/2 cup walnuts
about 20 unwrapped soft-chewy caramel candies (Kraft or Brach for example)Or make your own.
3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 large apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges each
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan at least 2″ deep; or a 9″ springform pan.Spread the walnuts in a single layer in an ungreased pan, and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Set them aside.
Beat together the sugar, butter, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla until smooth.Add the eggs. Beat till thoroughly combined.
Stir in the sour cream or yogurt alternately with the flour, using the low speed on mixer. The batter will be stiff. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula, don’t be concerned if it’s not perfect, just try to spread it evenly.
Toss the apple wedges with the sugar and vanilla till apples are thoroughly coated. Arrange the apples on top of the cake batter, pushing them into the batter gently so they’re partially submerged.
Bake the cake for 65 minutes (see notes), till it’s golden brown on top and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack, apple-side up. Place the caramel and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat till the cream is showing bubbles, and the caramel is soft.
Spoon the caramel over the cake, dripping it down into the crevices around the apples.
Scatter the walnuts on top. Sprinkle lightly with very coarse sea salt flakes if desired. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
NOTE: The salty+sweet combination has brought the word lovelies like chocolate covered pretzels, so give it a try!