Thursday, 13 August 2015

Salted Caramel Apple Cake





Oh my… this cake was a bit of a triumph.
Not too sweet, spiced just like an apple pie, and sporting a glossy, luscious salted caramel buttercream.  This cake got two thumbs up from everyone at the inlaws BBQ, especially Dave as I baked it with him in mind as a welcome home cake.
Before Dave jetted off to Australia he left his office fruit bowl at home and by the time I got around to fancying an apple they weren’t as risk as I’d have liked, so I turned them into applesauce. I was going to freeze it, but thought I’d check Pinterest for ideas first and found this amazing sounding cake! I gave it a whirl and had to buy some extra applesauce from the supermarket as this cake uses a lot of it!


The most interesting part of this cake is the buttercream technique. It’s an old-fashioned boiled buttercream, which starts with a white sauce of sorts (or pudding, for those across the Pond), which is cooled before butter is beaten into it. Before you know it, a miraculously light and fluffy buttercream forms! It’s less sweet than a regular buttercream and would make a great alternative to a Swiss buttercream.  I’ll definitely be experimenting with this frosting again in the future! I reckon you could make a fantastic strawberry buttercream with this recipe!
All in all, this made a great cake loved by adults and kids alike! And hey, fellow apple tree owners! This would be a great cake to make with windfalls from your tree and indeed I’ll be doing exactly that in a couple of weeks!

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

This recipe came courtesy of the Brown Eyed Baker Blog (https://www.browneyedbaker.com/salted-caramel-apple-cake/) which in its turn took the recipe from "Baked Expectations" by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito.

Serves 10.

For the cake:
360g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
350g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
670g applesauce (I used sweetened Bromley applesauce as well as some home-made)

For the icing:
220g caster sugar
30g plain flour
255g full-fat milk
60g double cream
255g unsalted butter (room temperature)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
80g Carnation caramel
sea salt to taste
roasted, salted peanuts to decorate

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 140C (fan oven) or 160C (convection oven). Butter and line two deep 6" cake tins (this will let you split the layers for a tall cake) or three 6" tins for a shorter cake.

2. Sift the flour, salt, spices and raising agents into a large bowl.

3. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle on medium speed: beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until well incorporated.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add a third of the flour mixture, letting it mix in before adding half of the apple sauce. Add the rest of the flour and sauce, alternating, so that you finish on flour.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 minutes (if divided between 3 tins). Check with a cocktail stick before taking out of the oven. Deep cakes (ie split between 2 tins) will take about 70 minutes.

6. Cool cakes in their tins on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then turn out, strip off the baking parchment and allow to cool fully.

Make the salted caramel buttercream

1. In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar and flour. slowly add the milk and cream, whisking thoroughly to avoid lumps. cook over a medium heat whisking occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Its not going to get super-thick, expect white sauce thickness.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixture and beat on high speed for 5 minutes until mixture is cold. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla. Let this mix in and then raise the speed to high and beat until the buttercream becomes light and fluffy.

3. If, after 10 minutes, the buttercream doesn't seem to have done its thing, pop it in the freezer and chill for about 20 minutes. Put it back in the mixer, beat, and it should fluff up nicely. This shouldn't be a problem unless it's a very hot day!

Assemble the cake

1. If you baked deep cakes, now is the time to split them horizontally. Use a serrated knife and just wiggle it through the middle of the cakes.

2. Layer the cakes with the buttercream on a serving plate. Cover with a thin layer of buttercream (a crumb coat) and chill for 20 minutes.  Remove from the fridge and cover with the rest of the buttercream. Garnish with the remaining caramel and salted peanuts, if desired.
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