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Richard in Cincy

REC: Caramel Apple Walnut Cake

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5250 posts
Joined: Dec 12, 2005

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Posted to Thread #19103 at 2:04 pm on Oct 6, 2010

For the life of me, I cannot remember where I found this recipe. Apologies if I'm reposting someone's recipe here!

Makes 1 two layer 9 inch cake

Note: The caramel needs time to cool completely so it would be best to make it the day before.

Caramel
Makes 1 3/4 cup (you will have about 1/2 cup leftover to drizzle on the finished cake)

1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbl. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tbl. immitation vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (3 large) crisp, tart fall apples
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp apple brandy

Frosting
1 pound (2 eight ounce packages) cream cheese, softened slightly, cut into pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly, cut into pieces
1 cup cold caramel

Garnish
Caramel
Walnuts

To make caramel:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Set over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes), making sure no sugar is sticking to sides of pan. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring, until the syrup becomes an amber colour, about 15 minutes. To prevent the syrup from becoming grainy, use a pastry brush dipped into cold water to brush down any sugar crystals sticking to the sides of the pan. Swirl the pan occasionally for even browning. Do not overcook! Caramel burns fast.

Once the syrup turns medium amber in colour, immediately remove from heat. Slowly and carefully add the cream to the syrup (mixture will bubble vigorously), whisking constantly, until cream is incorporated.

Return the pan to medium-low heat, stirring until sauce is smooth, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating. Can be stored for up to one month in refrigerator.

To make cake:
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 9x2 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the oil with the sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating after each addition until smooth. The batter will be extremely thick and dough like. Fold in the apples, walnuts, and apple liqueur until just blended. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

To make icing:
In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the caramel and beat until well incorporated.

Note: I stirred in 4 cups confectioner's sugar. I thought it held together much better (and tasted better).

To put the cake together:
When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake. Drizzle remaining caramel over top of cake. Garnish with walnuts.


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