This cake started with a conversation, it went something like this....
I miss fall. (me)
It is fall... (him)
No, I mean real fall. With apples and pumpkin patches and a cold breeze promising snow. (me)
And crunchy leaves and the sound of the wind in the trees.... yeah me too. (him)
And apples. (me)
Yeah, Apples. (him)
He's a new englander, that boy I married. And no matter where we call home; a little piece of him will always be sitting in an apple orchard listening to the sounds of fall and eating a fresh crisp apple with a flavor you'll never find in a grocery store. It's in his bones.... a little piece of his soul.
And so inspired by this recipe, I came up with an apple cake just for him. Some spice, some brown sugar, a bit of whole wheat pastry flour and a whole lot of apple flavor. Topped off with salted caramel whipped cream, it is delicious. Amazing. Really.
Luckily he's a good sharer.
Autumn Apple Spice Cake
with salted caramel whipped cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (tightly packed)
1 TBSP vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
generous dash of ground cloves & nutmeg
1 large crisp not to sweet apple cored & chopped, skins left on
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Butter a 9-10 inch square or rectangle pan and set aside.
*Beat butter & sugar together. Add eggs & vanilla, mix well. Add applesauce & mix well again. Set aside.
*Mix dry ingredients together. When measuring flours, be sure to scoop with a spoon into your measuring cup & level off with a knife to avoid overpacking the cup and ending up with a dry cake.
*Add flour mixture to wed ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir apples in.
*Pour into buttered pan and bake at 350 until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. About 35 minutes or so. Cool for about an hour before slicing.
If you don't care for ginger or cardamom, just substitute more cinnamon.
There are six of us, I make a double batch of this.
For the salted caramel whipped cream add caramel sauce to whipped cream until it's as sweet as you like. I used my own homemade caramel, which I had to warm to soften a bit before adding to the whipped cream. Be sure to whip the cream before adding the caramel, otherwise it might not whip up properly. Then add a pinch or two of sea salt. Mix well and serve on top of apple cake.