I am happy to share this, my 100th post. There aren't many things I can say I've done 100 times. To have continued, enjoyed and not grown tired of this project, I am so proud. I hope it's getting better and with time might be exactly as I'd like it to be. I love to be able to take the creative outlet I find in my kitchen one step further. This has fueled my passion, and I like to think is a path to bring me where I want to go, wherever that may be. Most importantly, I am grateful to have this forum to document the small things that make life in the yellow house ours.
As is fairly well known, I believe that all celebrations deserve a cake. (is that an NPR worthy essay?) The only fitting way to celebrate this special milestone is to eat cake. I knew I wanted something "fall" and apple-y. If it could incorporate the vats of applesauce I've made, that the kids seem to be growing immensely tired of by the moment, so much the better. Enter Martha. She saves the day again.
Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, Apple Spice Layer Cake with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting. (pg.161-3) I couldn't resist it, since it incorporated all of my desires AND the opportunity to pair goat cheese with a touch of sweet. With a few of my own modifications it was exactly what I was searching for.
Butter, sugar and honey were the base. Honey, yet another reason to be sold on this recipe. I used the end of the honey I bought when "up north". Not local, but certainly supporting a rescuer of bees.
A final folding of homemade applesauce guaranteed a moist and just dense enough cake. My last applesauce making adventure began with a 1/2 bushel of assorted "seconds". Of course, that's why there is soooo much of it. I usually seek out McIntosh, just McIntosh, to make really good applesauce. I couldn't pass up the deal my favorite fruit seller, Sarah, offered and the sauce made with my mixed bag produced sweet-tart sauce with just the right texture.
Leaving nothing to chance, Martha generously included a lovely garnish suggestion. Caramelized lady apple halves to top the cake. I didn't have access to the lady apples suggested, or didn't go in search of them. I opted to use the Jonathans on hand in thin slices. Cooking sugar in a dry pan until amber, a bit of butter and the a few minutes to cook the apples.
Placed on a silpat after being removed from the pan, I think they look okay. I should have sliced them on a mandolin or v-slicer for consistent thickness. Should I do this again, I would attempt to find lady apples. The dimension of an apple half would make a better statement as a garnish perched atop the cake. I like the little stars in the middle though.
In the original recipe, it's made as a layer cake without full frosting. When I dumped my cakes from the generously buttered and floured pans, the edges weren't the least bit attractive. The picture perfect smooth sides make me think of a cake baked in a pan really...really... really sprayed with Baker's Joy. Fried til smooth, if you will. In the end, as much as I'd love a picture perfect cake, I'll stick with my butter and flour method. Since I changed the cake size, I was concerned about having enough frosting. I did, even with the whole cake frosted. An initial crumb coat, even made the rough sides disappear.
Here it is, my celebration cake. It is delicious. It didn't get nearly the response I had hoped for, but Ella loved it. She has eaten most of it. Okay, I may have helped a bit - but didn't I bake it for myself?
2 years ago