About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Sauce

I love the change of seasons.  I was sorry to seen the end of summer because it means vacation time, lazy days at the lake and less city traffic.  However, September is a favorite month because it's still warm but not hot and the humidity has lowered.  Now until the first freeze is our finest weather in my opinion.  It also means apple time. The most recognized fruit on the planet and in history. What other fruit can claim to be the fall of mankind with Eve's first bite, or the revelation of gravity to Sir Isaac Newton or the name synonymous with the computer generation.  Originating in Central Asia, the apple boasts over 3500 species today.  Apple is a most diverse food and a good apple cake is more temptation than I can stand.  This is totally delicious!  Give in.

Preheat the oven to 350 and generously butter and flour a bundt pan shaking out the excess flour.

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed firm
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups peeled and diced apple
1 cup chopped walnuts

In large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the dry ingredients in 4 portions, mixing each until just incorporated.  Add the vanilla extract.  Fold in by hand with a spatula, the nuts and then the apples.  Spoon evenly in bundt pan and bake 50 minutes or until browned and a tooth pic comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 20 mins. before turning out.  Drizzle while warm with caramel sauce.  Serve with  a dollop whipped cream.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar
6 tbls unsalted butter cut in 6 pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cream

In a heavy skillet (I use a 10 in. cast iron skillet) heat sugar over medium high heat stirring constantly.  Just as the sugar is completely melted and starts to turn amber, turn off the heat and add the butter one tablespoon at a time stirring each addition until dissolved before adding the next.  Add the salt and vanilla and stir in.  Add the cream and stir. The pan will bubble vigorously so be careful.
Pour into a heat proof container and allow to cool 15-20 mins so it's still warm and pourable.  Drizzle over  warm cake and let soak in.  Serve cake with extra sauce if desired.

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