My church friend, K, was looking for a cake recipe to bake for our cell group leader's birthday. Happy Birthday, YN!! And her requirement was that the cake must have a masculine nature to it. I have never thought of cakes having gender and that was an interesting perspective. A Victoria sponge or a chiffon cake do look feminine and a carrot cake do have a masculine nature to it. To me, the decoration of the cake usually determine whether the cake is for a lady or a gentleman.
So let's get on to talk about this awesome recipe by Joanne Chang. K, decided to make this spice apple cake and it was a good choice and the cake was very well received.
It smelt like spiced toffee and tasted of caramel. The texture of the cake came from the added nuts, apples and raisins making every bite interesting and the flavors harmonized. I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who likes apple cake or even apple tart.
My contribution was to whipping up a frosting, in this case a rum butter cream frosting, to pair with the cake. But unfortunately my decision to decorate the cake with the apple chips, though kept the apple theme, but made it soooo feminine looking. (LOL!) Sorry, K.
Apple Snacking Spice Cake
(Makes one 10-inch round cake or 2 8-inch round cake)
142g unbleached all-purpose flour
90g cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
250g granulated sugar
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g peeled, cored, and chopped Granny Smith apples
100g pecan halves, toasted and chopped (or a mixture of pecan and walnuts)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 180 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. (Or, sift together in a medium bowl if using a handheld mixer.) Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. Add granulated sugar and butter to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until butter is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients. Stop the mixer several times to scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the butter is mixed in. Add eggs and mix on low speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Then, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for about 1 minute, or until batter is light and fluffy.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples, raisins and pecans. The batter will be very stiff and thick. It will look like too many apples and not enough batter, but that’s okay. Scrape all of the batter into the prepared pan, then spread it evenly to fill the pan.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, and tent the cake at 25 min if the cake have brown sufficiently to prevent burning of the top. Or until the cake feels firm when you press it in the middle and the top is dark golden brown. Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- Invert the cake onto a serving plate, lifting away the pan, and then invert the cake again so it is right-side up. Slice and plate, then dust the slices with confectioners’ sugar.
- The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, it can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks; thaw overnight at room temperature for serving.
Adapted from “Flour” by Joanne Chang
(Amount to frost a 9" cake)
85g caster sugar
4 Tbsp water
2 medium egg yolks, at room temperature
150g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 - 3 Tbsp dark rum, to taste (I used light rum, only had that at hand)
2 packs of apple chips (needed less than this as I could only find enough nice looking pieces from 2 packs of it)
- Put the sugar and water into a small heavy-based pan and heat gently, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Then bring the syrup to the boil and boil until the temperature reaches 110 degrees Celsius on a candy thermometer (about 5 min). Do not let syrup start to caramelize.
- While syrup is boiling, put the egg yolks into a metal mixing bowl and whisk for a few seconds until frothy. As soon as the syrup reaches the right temperature, slowly pour the syrup in a thin steady stream into bowl, whisking constantly. Then keep whisking until the mixture becomes very thick and mousse-like, pale in color and completely cooled.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and gradually whisk into the egg mixture, then whisk in the vanilla and rum to taste. The buttercream needs to be easy to spread but firm enough to hold its shape, so if necessary cover the bowl and chill briefly.
- Frost the cake and top it with apple chips.
Adapted from "The Great British Bake Off Everyday" by Linda Collister
I am very happy to have collaborated with K to make this cake. K, you are one determine lady;)
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