Monday, October 19, 2009

I am back with a Best-Ever Apple Cake

Wow, that was a longer break than I intended to take.  It has been a crazy few weeks with my DH away doing a job and then we went to watch him compete in his 5th Kona Ironman on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We were all very proud of him even if he didn't have the race of his dreams due to injury.  Seriously, anyone who competes in an Ironman deserves a lot of respect.  It is a grueling race, and for those unfamiliar with it, consists of a 2.4 miles (3.86 km) swim, a 112 miles (180.25 km) bike and a marathon (26 miles 385 yards, 42.195 km) run, raced in that order and without a break.  He competes next weekend in the Xterra World Championship next weekend in Makena, Maui. No rest for the wicked :)

Whilst I was away I was flicking thought the latest issue of Redbook and there were a couple of apple recipes that looked interesting.  I decided to start with the Best-Ever Apple Cake.  I have to say that once everything was measured out and chopped this cake came together very quickly. I decided to try a new flour that I had purchased from Costco. It is an all-purpose unbleached flour that is a mix of white and ultragrain. The package states that it has double the fiber of other all-purpose flours.  I like the idea of adding something healthy to my baking.  Now I just have to use of the rest of the flour.   Since it came in two ten-pound bags, I predict a lot of baking in my future.

So, did the cake live up to its lofty title?  Was it the Best-Ever Apple Cake?  Hmmmm....I am not so sure about that.  Since the nuts were on the bottom of the pan they received the most heat and I detected a slightly bitter/burnt taste from the outside of the cake.  It might have been a better idea to layer the pecans with the apple mixture inside the cake.  Also, to give this cake a little more flavor and color, next time I will add some chopped cranberries to the apple mixture.  It did smell good coming out of the oven and everyone was eager to have a warm slice.  My youngest decided that a little whipped cream would go nicely with this cake and I have to say that she was right.



 Best-Ever Apple Cake

Yields: 12 slices
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
Oven Temp: 350F



Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup(s) chopped pecans
  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 4  large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1/2 cup(s) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup(s) orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch removable-bottom tube pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly on bottom of pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and cinnamon. Add apples and toss to combine.
  3. In another large bowl, mix remaining flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, oil, butter, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until batter is smooth.
  4. Pour half of the batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. Top with half of apple mixture. Spoon remaining batter over apples and top with remaining apples, placing them 1/4 inch in from the tube and the border of the cake.
  5. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides and center of cake and turn cake out onto wire rack. Invert cake onto another rack to cool, apple side up. 




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