Saturday, October 27, 2012

baby it's cold outside - apple cake

On Thursday the temperature dropped 20 degrees in 8 hours, landing at "quite chilly", perfect weather for hosting a cozy fall dinner.  My menu consisted of beef bourguignon served over a celery root puree, followed by a seasonal salad of wilted kale topped with roasted beets and drizzled with balsamic dijon vinaigrette.

For dessert, I made apple cake and served it with a wedge of Stilton cheese to pass around the table (trust me on this one, the two share a plate quite well).  The recipe for this apple cake comes from a friend who bakes the most delicious cakes.  Not the kind of cakes one has at birthday parties or manufactured social gatherings.  These are the cakes that dinner party legends are made of.  Rustic, with fruits and spices, and full of warmth. In this recipe, the spices are what make the cake especially good.  Nothing compares to the flavors of fresh cardamom plucked from its pod, or nutmeg grated directly into the batter.  Both of these spices will keep in your pantry for a very long time,  and the results they yield are not to be surpassed.

Apple Cake

4 c. chopped apples.  I prefer to leave the skin on, but one can certainly peel the apples
3/4 c. cane sugar
1c. walnuts roughly chopped
2/3 c. melted unsalted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh cardamom,  roughly chopped
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl combine the apples, sugar, nuts and butter.
Stir in eggs and vanilla
Sift flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg.   Slowly add flour to wet apple batter.

Use butter to grease a bundt cake pan, and then lightly .ust this with flour to ensure a non-stick surface for you cake.
Spoon batter in to cake pan, making sure it is spread evenly.  It will be slightly lumpy, but this is ok.

Bake for about 45 minutes.  The top will have split and be slightly firm to the touch.

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