Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting



The leaves are turning into autumn colors and slowly falling in the wind, it's apple season, finally!!
This is the time of the year that I try out new recipes on my family that will make the cut for the Thanksgiving menu. Desserts are the best at holidays, everything is homemade and I usually go the extra calorie to make it special! Our annual fall fun night is this weekend and I think I will make this dessert for the adults and leave
the cupcakes for the kids!

Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup caramel sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk

Apple Cider Frosting:
  • 7 1/2-8 cups confectioners’ sugar (to desired consistency)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together with an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add applesauce, caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and continuing to beat until well combined.

3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes, then gently loosen cakes and turn out onto a cooking rack; set aside to let cool completely.

4. For the frosting, put sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Arrange one cake on a large plate and spread about 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Arrange second cake on top then frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining frosting. Set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow frosting to set before serving.

Makes a tall 2-layer, 8-9 inch round cake.


White whole wheat flour can be substituted for the pastry but don't use whole wheat, it will make the cake too heavy, and we don't want to spoil this recipe at all!  Just want to thank you all for getting signed up in my followers giveaway, glad to have you among my 500!! And thank you so much for the kind words and prayers for Miss Ellie, she is doing so well, she has everyone amazed for being 6 weeks early! She's living up to her middle name, Faith, and this grandma has complete faith in knowing she is going to be just fine!!! Life is good, treat yourself to this cake soon!!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake with Limoncello Glaze





I adapted the cake and glaze recipes from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America, a volume that's on own my short list of highly admirable cookbooks. What did I alter? Well, instead of using buttermilk in the cake (the book's recipe is called "Lemon Buttermilk Cake") I substituted Greek style plain yogurt, along with a few tablespoons of milk to smooth it out.

And, there's no limoncello in the CIA formula, but I suspected that it would tag along perfectly with the existing flavors, so I added a smidgen into the cake batter in place of some of the lemon juice, and also used it with lemon juice in the glaze. (A popular Italian liqueur, it's such tasty stuff. If you've never tried it, you might want to get some, but if you prefer not to use it you can always omit it from the recipe entirely and go with all lemon juice. The cakes will still be luscious.) I also reworded, and slightly revised, the instructions.

Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake with Limoncello Glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally coat with baking spray, or thoroughly grease and flour,  pans for 12 mini-bundts, or 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients:


  •     2 and 2/3 cups All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
  •     1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  •     1/2 tsp. baking soda
  •     1/4 tsp. salt
  •     5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •     1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  •     1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  •     4 eggs, large
  •     3 Tbsp. milk (I used 2 percent)
  •     1 cup and 1 Tbsp. plain Greek style yogurt
  •     3/4 to 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  •     4 Tbsp. limoncello (lemon flavored liqueur)



Directions:

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another small bowl, stir together the yogurt and the milk just until smooth.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest for about 5 minutes, until smooth and light. Stop to scrape the bowl periodically.

Add in the eggs one a time, still at medium speed, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Mix well after each egg.

On low speed, add in the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt in three additions. Mix just until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more, until the entire mixture is smooth and light.

Add in 3 Tbsp. of the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. of the limoncello. Blend just until evenly mixed, no more than 30 seconds.

Portion the batter evenly into your pan(s); smooth the top of the batter.

Bake until the center of each cake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger, and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. This will be about 15 minutes for mini-bundts or cupcakes (if making minis or cupcakes, don't wait for the exposed part of the cake to look golden brown; golden around the edges is enough).

If you've made the cake in mini-bundt pans, let them cool for about 10 minutes before inverting the pans onto a cooling racks to remove the cakes. If you've baked cupcakes, give them no more than about five minutes in their pans before carefully removing to a cooling rack.

To make the glaze: mix the confectioners' sugar, 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and 3 Tbsp. of limoncello in a small bowl and stir until any lumps are completely gone. If you'd like the glaze thicker, just stir in a bit more confectioners' sugar until it's the texture you prefer.

If you like, serve each cake topped with a little unsweetened whipped cream and some lemon zest curls. Yummy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler



I was searching for a peach cobbler recipe that reminded me of the yummy dessert I ate as a young boy in Southeast Missouri. No shortcuts here. Fresh peaches and homemade crust...but worth every minute! Absolutely delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream! Never any leftovers with this dessert!

Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

  •         2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •         3 tablespoons white sugar
  •         1 teaspoon salt
  •         1 cup shortening
  •         1 egg
  •         1/4 cup cold water
  •         3 pounds fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
  •         1/4 cup lemon juice
  •         3/4 cup orange juice
  •         1/2 cup butter
  •         2 cups white sugar
  •         1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •         1 tablespoon cornstarch
  •         1 tablespoon white sugar
  •         1 tablespoon butter, melted




Instructions:

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Work in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Place in a 9x13 inch baking dish, covering bottom and halfway up sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a large saucepan, mix the peaches, lemon juice, and orange juice. Add 1/2 cup butter, and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch; mix into peach mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into baked crust.

Roll remaining dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into half-inch-wide strips. Weave strips into a lattice over peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.