Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mandy's Bytes: No Cinnamon Apple Cake

I know I promised this post to be yesterday... but you'll have to forgive me because I've spent my first two days of a four day weekend with a cold. So I was too busy having a pity party about being sick to bake a cake yesterday.

The original recipe for this cake was one I found on A Whisk and A Spoon, I made some slight adjustments this time after making it last fall as well. My favorite part about this apple cake is that it doesn't use cinnamon! Cinnamon and apple are such an overdone combination, so this recipes use of vanilla instead is a nice change.
No Cinnamon Apple Cake
aka Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups chopped apple
- 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar  - 3-4 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla                                       - 1 Tbsp half and half

The first thing I do when making this recipe (besides preheat the oven to 350 degrees) is to chop up the apples, because it's the messiest part, and I like to get it over with. I used honeycrisp apples this time because, well if you've ever tried them you already know, and if you haven't tried them, you should. They're amazing. I actually only ended up using two apples to make three cups chopped, but obviously this will depend on the size of apples you use. You can also add chopped nuts to this recipe if you like, the original recipe calls for pecans or walnuts. In a medium bowl, combine all your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix these together with a fork and set aside.

"Foamy" Eggs
In a large bowl you will now need to "beat the eggs until pale yellow and foamy." Now in the original recipe they suggest that this can be done either with a mixer or a wooden spoon. Big hint: DON'T try to beat eggs with a wooden spoon. I don't know what kind of Hulk-like upper body strength the person who wrote this recipe had, but trying to make eggs foamy by hand with a wooden spoon sucks! Of course I was much too stubborn to give up and transfer over to my mixer, resulting in eggs that were bubbly at best.

Once you eggs are nice and foamy, thanks to a mixer, you will add in the oil and vanilla. Fortunately these are easily mixed in with a wooden spoon. To this mixture add in the dry ingredients from the other bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid until the flour just disappears. The resulting batter will be very thick and, coincidentally, look quite a lot like applesauce.

Now you can stir the apples, and nuts if you choose, into the batter and mix until they are evenly dispersed. Mine ended up very wet, I think because of the apples being so juicy, but you'll be thankful later when you cake ends up super moist and delicious.

You can make this cake either in a 13" x 9" sheet cake, two 8"-9" rounds, or three 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pans. Whichever you prefer, grease it with butter or cooking spray, and spread the batter over the pan using your wooden spoon or a spatula. The dough is pretty sticky, so it needs a little coercion to get into all the corners.

The cake will need to bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. About 5 minutes before the cake is done baking you'll want to prepare your glaze. In a medium saucepan combine all of the glaze ingredients: brown sugar, half and half, vanilla and butter. The original glaze recipe is actually double what I have listed here, but in my opinion it was just too rich. Bring the glaze to a boil and let cook for about 5 minutes. When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and immediately pour the glaze over the top. Use a spoon or spatula to evenly distribute the glaze.
Pre-glaze Cake
Post-glaze Cake

Let the cake cool completely before serving. This is important for two reasons: 1. the glaze is very hot (hot sugar=burnt mouth) 2. the apple chunks are also very hot (hot juicy apple chunks=burnt mouth). You get the idea, you won't be able to enjoy the cake if you singe all the taste buds off your tongue with the first bite. Believe me because, being the impatient type, I'm speaking from personal experience.
Once the cake is cool, dig in! It is moist and sweet, but not too rich, and the edges have a perfect amount of crispness. I imagine it would also be great served with some vanilla ice cream on the side. This cake will be a hit, and is not too difficult, for a yummy fall dessert.

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