#23960: Lemony Apple Cider Caramel Cake---I made this yesterday and it's terrific. not a hint of cinnamon
Posted by: AngAk1 at 8:56 pm on Mar 4, 2013
which seems blasphemous, but the lemon in it is just so lovely with the apples. originally posted by GayR awhile back. my note: I added 1 tsp vanilla to the batter. just can't bake a cake without vanilla.
Lemony Apple Cider Caramel Cake
This cake keeps well, covered, at room temperature for three or four days. It may also be frozen. It's terrific for brunch, breakfast or dessert. I've adapted the recipe from my cookbook, "A is for Apple," co-written with my wife, Dorothy.
For the caramel apples:
2 cups apple cider
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 pounds crisp, firm apples, quartered, cored and thinly sliced (3 cups prepared)
For the cake:
Fine dry unseasoned bread crumbs, for dusting the pan(I sprayed with Pam for baking)
3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces regular cream cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
For the lemon and cider glaze:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting cake
Boil 2 cups apple cider in a heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the cider is reduced to 1/2 cup. This takes about 15 minutes. Toward the end of cooking, reduce the heat to medium and watch the liquid carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
Stir 1 cup sugar into the hot reduced cider, and cook and stir over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Continue stirring constantly until the cider-sugar is thick and foamy and turns a deep dark caramel color, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and cool 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Add the apples and stir well.
Return the pan to high heat and cook and stir constantly until the apples have absorbed almost all of the liquid and the sauce is very thick and syrupy. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool completely. There'll be about 1 1/4 cups of apples.
Coat a 12-cup bundt pan well with cooking spray; dust evenly with fine dry bread crumbs, tap out the excess crumbs, and set the pan aside. Adjust an oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Measure the flour by spooning it into dry measuring cups to overflowing; sweep off the excess with a metal spatula. Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat the 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup butter, cream cheese and lemon zest on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Stop to scrape the bowl and beater as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time on medium speed, beating until thoroughly incorporated after each addition. Scrape the bowl and beater occasionally.
Beat in the 2 tablespoons lemon juice. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture in three additions and the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat only until the batter is smooth; stop frequently to scrape the bowl and beaters. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Stir about 1 cup of the batter into the apples, then fold the apples into the remaining batter. The syrup clinging to the apples will tint the batter a caramel color. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread level.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown, it springs back when gently pressed, and a cake tester comes out clean and dry. There may be a few cracks on top.
When cake goes into the oven, combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it stand 5 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Set the rack onto a baking sheet and immediately brush the glaze all over the cake, including the tube portion. Take your time, about 5 minutes or so, and use a gentle dabbing motion until all the glaze is used. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Then transfer it to a cake plate and dust it with the powdered sugar. Cut into thin slices with a serrated knife.
Makes 12 to 16 servings, two slices per portion.
Greg Patent is a food writer and columnist for the Missoulian and Missoula.commagazine