Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple Spice Cake

I had a lapse in judgment last week and I committed to do a cleanse. It starts tomorrow. No food, no coffee, just juice for 3 days.  What the heck was I thinking??!  I received an email with information on how to prepare my body for its cleaning.  In a nutshell, the instructions said, stick to leafy greens and stay away from meat, sugar, alcohol and other hard to digest foods.  So this weekend, in preparation, I had a steak, pizza, drank a lot of coffee, a lot of wine and as my last hurrah, I made and ate this delicious Apple Spice Cake.
The cake is dense, moist and packed full of apples and fall spices. This dessert can be transported in its pan, so it is a great option for a family gathering.  The recipe comes from the sono Baking Company Cookbook and I have yet to find a recipe from it that I do not like.  Enjoy!
Apple Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp coarse salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs @ room temperature
2 cups peeled, cored and grated apples (any baking apple – I used honeycrisp)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

Brown Sugar Buttercream

2 large egg whites
½ cup brownsugar
Pinch of coarse salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) of unsalted, firm butter
½ tsp of pure vanilla extract

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8 pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
2.       In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside
3.       In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs, grated apples and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until the flower has been absorbed.  Fold in walnuts if using. 
4.       Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Bake on the prepared baking sheet, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs adhering to the bottom, 50 to 55 minutes.  Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
5.       To make the buttercream: Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler. In the top of the boiler, whisk the egg whites with the brown sugar and the salt over (not in) the simmering water until warm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes.  (Be careful not to let the bottom of the top of the double boiler touch the water.)  Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until stiff peaks form.  With the machine running, gradually beat in the butter, piece by piece.  By the time all of the butter is added, the mixture will break, but it will become smooth again as your continue to beat.  Beat in vanilla.
6.       Spread buttercream over the top of the cake.  Cut into squares. 

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