Thursday, February 24, 2011

Double Apple Bundt Cake

I'm swimming in apples.

One of the best things about Southern California is that we have fresh produce year-round. D. and I are members of an amazing CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) with Be Wise Ranch. Our biweekly boxes are filled with gorgeous vegetables, including big and sweet apples. We've had apples up the wazoo, so baking is one of the best ways to use them up quickly.

I had apples, jars of apple butter that we never used, and Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. I always check there first when I have ingredients and need a trusty recipe in which to use them.

Her wonderful Double Apple Bundt Cake recipe was perfect, using apples and apple butter. It called for nuts (pecans or walnuts) and raisins, but I had neither of those ingredients. I also don't care for either item in my baked goods, so I thought I'd substitute cubed apple. Inspired by Dorie's Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, I figured the extra moisture would give the cake a similar texture.

The final result was amazing. The cake was flavorful with spices and the sweet apples were a nice contrast. Texture was like a perfect bread pudding, very moist without being mushy.

Double Apple Bundt Cake
(slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup spiced apple butter (I used Harry and David's apple butter)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 1/2 cups apples, cubed into 1/2-inch cubes

Note: original recipe called for 1/2 cup plump raisins and 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts in place of the cubed apples

1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
~2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

Cream butter and sugar on medium speed with a mixer (either stand or hand) until mixture is smooth, thick, and pale (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat for 1 minute in between additions, resulting in a fluffy batter. Reduce speed to low and beat in the apple butter (it doesn't matter if it curdles the batter). Keep mixing at a low speed and add grated apples. Add the dry ingredients and mix only until combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the cubed apples.

Pour batter into pan and bake, without placing the bundt pan on a baking sheet, for 50-55 minutes. Use a thin knife to test for doneness and it should come out clean when inserted deep into the cake. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Unmold on to a rack and cool completely.

Important: Allow the cake to sit, completely cooled and covered in plastic wrap, overnight to develop its flavors. (Dorie indicates this is optional, but I found that it makes the difference between good and phenomenal... and it becomes better with each day)

Ice the cake or, if not using icing, dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Photography note: Sometimes the best places for food photography are unexpected. This photo was shot in the conference room at work. Looked weird to everyone I work with, but they also demolished the cake afterward, so everybody won.

Other dishes from Dorie's cookbooks on AoaAF
(Some are posts without recipes)

Around My French Table
Cheese and Chive Bread
Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake
Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Baking With Julia
(Cookbook by Dorie Greenspan, many of the recipes contributed by guests on the show by the same name)
Easy Irish Soda Bread

Baking: From My Home to Yours
Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
Black and White Banana Loaf
Nectarine/White Peach/Blueberry Cobbler
Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie

7 bites:

Joy said...

That looks good.

moowiesqrd said...

Cake stand is Martha Stewart. ;) From Macy's. I love square things... what does that say about me?

moowiesqrd said...

Couldn't have taken a photo like that without all of your help! So excited that I've had opportunities to learn from you guys!

Todd and Diane said...

This is such a gorgeous still-life shot! beautiful interpretation of food and sense of place.
AWESOME AWESOME image. Can't wait to see more!

Aimee said...

beautiful photo of a beautiful bundt! i love your square cake stand, and i am so jealous of your produce supply. i will keep this recipe in mind for when i go apple picking in september!

moowiesqrd said...

That bundt pan is amazing... mine's from Williams-Sonoma, but it's a Nordic Ware pan, so it's available at a lot of places.

Mary said...

Love, love your bundt pan. I just have one of the old, traditional looking pans. I used to make bundt cakes all of the time but haven't lately (probably because I'm not home much anymore). I think I need to keep a bundt pan at Jake's just so I can make bundts (and have a reason to buy a new pan).

7 bites