Caramel Apple Cake

I’m on a roll… It’s nice having time to do things for once… I made this cake for my friend’s father. Birthday of course…. Apple cake, caramel frosting and sauce I LOVE CARAMEL IN THE FALL!!!  I mean it just makes the flavor a little more special for me. Nothing like burnt sugar and apples….

Back to the normal butter and sugar and cakes, there is apple sauce in this so that makes the cake soft and fluffy. I suggest using homemade apple sauce but since this was short notice I used store-bought. works just as well! But this cake just says welcome to fall and makes your house smell like thanksgiving… It brings back a memory, one time in elementary school like 4th grade, my mother has already passed away at that point and we were leaning the tall tales. You know those stories of Paul Bunion, Annie Oakley, Johnny Appleseed and Davey Crockett the frontiers men that fought in the alamo, yeah I know he was real and he fought in the alamo BUT he wasn’t like Disney made him out to be. Anyhow, for some reason our teacher decided we were going to have an apple party I guess to celebrate Johnny Appleseed. My mother up until that point was kinda in charge of that department. So my dad actually had to make something, at that point in our lives I think we were still adjusting to the whole idea of hey it’s just my dad here raising two children, working shift work and trying to be home when he could. I didn’t think I was going to be able to bring anything in. But my father did it he found my moms jewish apple cake recipe and made it and everyone loved it of course. My dad has skills in the kitchen as well.

So now I think about this cake I think about my mother just something close to me I guess… I don’t talk about it much so that’s all you’re getting out of me…

If you get caramel on youre skin just lick it off, I’m not judging… Just drink your juice out of carton you purposely through stuff if the trash you find yourself fishing it out of there… HEY BACHELOR AT HEART OKAY?! Let me bake in boxers okay?? I do what I want and I chose to be a lady in public if need be…

CARAMEL APPLE CAKE

Recipe adapted from Baked Expectations by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
Makes one 8-inch cake

The Applesauce
3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and quartered
3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1/4 boiled Apple cider
3/4 cups apple juice
2 tablespoons of brandy
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey (I like clover honey)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients, and stir to combine. Cover the saucepan, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher to your desired consistency. Chill sauce to room temperature before adding to cake batter (see recipe below)

 Apple Cake
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups homemade applesauce (see recipe above) or store-bought unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 325-degrees. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together into a large bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl in three parts, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low-speed for a few more seconds. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment, and let cool completely.

For The Caramel Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 ½ cups heavy cream

In a medium saucepan with high sides, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water. Stir the mixture gently so you don’t slosh any of it up the sides of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, stop stirring, and allow the mixture to boil. Once it begins to turn a rich caramel color (if you don’t want to eyeball it, take the caramel to 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer), remove it from the heat, add the butter and cream, and stir until combined.

You can save the caramel sauce, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let it come to room temperature before using it on cakes, ice creams, or quick breads.

If you want a warm topping, heat the caramel sauce in short bursts in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler.

For The Caramel Buttercream
1½ cups sugar
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Classic Caramel Sauce (see recipe above), at room temperature 

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high-speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add 1⁄3 cup of the caramel and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

Assembly
Place one of the cake layers on the cake base and level off the top. Put a thin layer of caramel sauce on the layers and then spread caramel buttercream on top. Next, add another layer of cake and level and frost as you did with the first layer. Trim the top of the last layer and then place it on top of the cake bottom side up. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the entire cake (crumb coat) and place the cake on the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the fridge and use the remaining frosting to ice the top and sides.  Use the remaining caramel to drizzle over the top. Add chopped peanuts, if desired.

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