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Caramel Apple Cake

A sponge that is light and moist and loaded with chunks of fresh apple. A buttercream that is as light as air with a slight sweetness and perfect touch of salt. Drizzle the top with more caramel and you are there - it's fall. The air is crisp and cool, you're eating your first caramel apple of the season and life is just good.



INGREDIENTS:


Spiced Apples:

1 cup of diced apples

1/2 tbsp of maple syrup (or brown sugar)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt


Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temp.

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Caramel:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

150 ml heavy whipping cream, room temp.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.


Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

3 large egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup caramel (recipe above)


INSTRUCTIONS:


Apples:

  1. Peel and dice apples. Place in a bowl with maple syrup (or brown sugar), cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat three 6" round cake pans with butter and flour, then line the bottoms with parchment.

  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, spices and salt) then set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a seperate bowl using a handheld mixer, combine the vegetable oil and both sugars. Beat for about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time then add vanilla.

  4. Slowly mix in your flour mixture, being careful not to overstir. Last, remove apples from any excess liquid that formed and fold them into your batter.

  5. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out (mostly) clean.

  6. Let cakes cool in their pans at least 10 minutes, then remove from pans onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel:

  1. Place sugar and water in a small pot. Stir to combine, then do not stir again.

  2. Cook over high heat and carefully brush the sides of the pot with a pastry brush that has been dipped in water to prevent any sugar crystals from forming.

  3. Cook until the caramel turns an amber color, then immediately remove from heat.

  4. Slowly pour in the heavy cream while whisking constantly. It will bubble up a lot and start to boil.

  5. Add in the butter, return to heat and bring it back to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes while again whisking constantly.

  6. Remove from heat and let cool completely to room temperature. Once it has reached room temperature, you can move it to the fridge to thicken.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:


Note : do not be intimidated by this buttercream! It sounds harder than it is. It is what is going to give you the light and airy dreaminess we are looking for here!


  1. Place egg whites and sugar in a large heat proof bowl (we are creating a double boiler in a moment) and whisk until combined. Set a candy thermometer aside so you have it available for use when ready.

  2. Place bowl over a pot filled with a small amount of water. Be sure your bowl does not touch the water. Place your candy thermometer in the mixture and monitor temperature.

  3. Whisk the sugar/egg white mixture constantly until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. The mixture should no longer be grainy to the touch.

  4. Place mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium-high with the whisk attachment until the mixture becomes stiff and cools. Approximately 10 minutes. You have just made a Swiss Meringue!

  5. Switch to the paddle attachment. Slowly add in the room temperature butter one tablespoon at a time.

  6. Add in vanilla, salt and cooled caramel. Whip until smooth.


You may now assemble your cake and enjoy!

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