Saturday, June 1, 2013
We Needed A Break
We have been spending a lot of time in the basement and taking trips to Lowe's. Then the basement and Lowe's. Like that. Nothing exciting. Nothing worth writing about. We have made three trips to get a bathroom vanity. Once to order and pay for it. Once to pick it up. And then back the same day to return it because when we opened it the top was broken. Not just cracked, broken. We re-ordered it and now we have to wait another week. No problem we are there ALL the time.
So we have been going back and forth and up and down. But no real progress to report. So we had to take a break from all that semi-productivity and have a tea party! We have two friends in Buchanan. They are sisters. They are very generous about taking RJ for walks when we are out of town, so we wanted to do something nice for them. The something nice involved making...
Apple Bourbon Pecan Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons Bourbon
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 large apples
1 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 315 degrees.
Toast the pecans. I used the toaster oven on 300 for 7 to 9 minutes. Don't forget to set a timer or you will get busy and forget them. They should start to brown a bit and smell of toasty pecans. If they burn, start over. When they are cool chop them roughly and set aside.
Cut parchment paper to fit in the bottom of a greased 8 inch cake pan. Then grease that and set it aside.
You will need to sift the flour and spices together two times. Set the sifter in a medium bowl and fill it with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices and salt. Sift it into the bowl. Place the sifter in another bowl and carefully direct the four into the sifter again and sift once more. Don't worry about the first bowl, you will use it later. Set the flour and spice mixture aside.
If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, this is a good time to use it. Set the softened butter and both sugars in the mixer and use the paddle attachment. You want to mix it a good long time. It should be fluffy and almost light in color. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until thoroughly mixed. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for one more minute. Remove the paddle and take the bowl off the mixing stand.
Add one third of the flour mix to the butter and sugar mix. Mix until well incorporated and then add another third and mix. Once that is mixed in add the final third and mix well. Set the bowl aside.
Peel the Granny Smith apples and cut them into chunks. I like to cut them into fourths, avoiding the core. The chunks are then easy to peel and cut into bite size pieces. Place them in the bowl you used for the first sifting. A wee bit of flour won't hurt. Pour the Bourbon over the apples and stir to mix.
Place the apples and the pecans on top of the batter and gently fold them in. When mixed well, spoon into the prepared pan. The first time I made this I used the three Granny Smith apples called for in the" Tea With Bea" recipe book. They must make Granny Smith apples bigger here than in England. The batter mounded up in the pan and then spilled over the side of the pan when baking. That is why I am giving you a measured amount of the apples. The batter will rise when cooked, so if it looks too full, it probably is. Don't over fill. Put the extra in a ramekin and bake a single serving cake or two!
Bake for 55 to 70 minutes. Test for doneness until the skewer comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Bake a bit longer if necessary.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 110 minutes on a cooling rack. Loosen the edges with a plastic knife and then invert it on the cooling rack. to finish cooling for an hour.
This cake is glorious all by itself, but I had some salted caramel I made for something else and salted caramel is not something you can let go to waste! So you may want to serve with a bit of whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel. I know I did!.