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Gingerbread Apple Cider Cake November 20 2017, 0 Comments

This recipe quickly made it's way to the top of my Thanksgiving and Christmas baking lists. An incredibly moist cake, full of warm spices and fresh apples with a gorgeous crumb, made deliciously complex by the addition of homemade apple cider syrup, fresh and ground ginger and over a pound of apples. It bakes up perfectly in a bundt pan or as a layer cake in two 8 inch cake pans. I used Opal, Jonagold, Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples. I love the different levels of sweet and tart, crisp and juicy. You can just as easily use one variety. 

APPLE CIDER SYRUP:

Reduce one bottle or can of apple cider on medium heat with two tablespoons of maple syrup for about 15 minutes, until it has reached a thick honey like consistency. I like Golden State Cider, Mighty Dry Hard Cider. It is perfect for drinking and cooking.

GINGERBREAD APPLE CIDER CAKE

WET INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter, (8 tablespoons) at room temperature

1/2 cup apple sauce

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apple cider syrup (see directions below)

2 cups peeled and shredded apples (about four medium apples)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

DRY INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

 

METHOD:

Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease your bundt pan or two 8 inch round cake pans with melted butter or cooking spray. 

Wash and peel your apples, then shred into a large glass measuring cup. You will need 2 cups, about four medium apples. Add your vanilla extract and grated ginger. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Sift your flours, spices, baking powder and soda together in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl and hand mixer) cream together your butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in your apple cider syrup, then add your eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. 

Add your flour in two parts, alternating with your shredded apples. With each addition mix only until just combined. Overbeating will cause your cake to be dense and tough. Scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure all of your ingredients are mixed in.

Pour the batter into your pan and smooth out the top. Tap the pan on your countertop to reduce bubbles and place in the oven on the center rack.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until your cake tester (or a tooth pick) comes out clean.

Let your cake cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes, then place a cooling rack on top and invert your cake for easy removal. 

 

This cake is the perfect way to end a holiday gathering or warm up a cold weather brunch. Serve as dessert with homemade caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at breakfast with coffee and good quality butter.


Spiced Banana Bundt Cake November 05 2017, 0 Comments

There are so many reasons to love this bundt cake. A tried and true recipe, which bakes up perfectly every time and slips right out of the pan. Giving you all of the definition and rich color you could want in a bundt cake with a little something extra...FLAVOR!

I love the look of bundt cakes, but I am almost always disappointed by the lack of flavor, with most recipes relying on vanilla or simple citrus for taste. This bundt cake is filled with warm spices, sweet bananas and has a gorgeous crumb. It is so simple and quick to prepare. If you can make banana bread, you can bake this beautiful spiced banana bundt cake! 

DRY INGREDIENTS:

 - 2 cups whole wheat flour

 - 1 cup all purpose flour

 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 - 1/2 teaspoon ginger

 - 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 - 2 teaspoons baking soda

 - 1 teaspoon baking powder

 - 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

 - 1 cup brown sugar

 - 1/2 cup caster or granulated sugar

 

WET INGREDIENTS:

 - 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks, room temperature) 

 - 2 large eggs (room temperature)

 - 4 large, overripe bananas

 - 1 cup Greek yogurt (room temperature)

 - 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (we use Oaktown Spice)

 

METHOD:

Generously grease your bundt pan with melted butter or cooking spray.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Sift your flours, spices, salt, baking soda and powder together into a medium bowl.

In your stand mixer (or a large bowl using a hand mixer) cream the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add your sugars and beat for a few minutes until smooth. Mix in your vanilla, then add your eggs one add a time until fully incorporated.

Reduce your mixer speed to low and beat in your bananas until creamy. 

Add your flour in two parts, alternating with the Greek yogurt. With each addition, mix until just incorporated. Overbeating will cause your bundt cake to be dense and rubbery. Scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure all of your ingredients have combined.

Pour the batter into your bundt pan and smooth out the top. Tap your bundt pan on the counter to reduce bubbles and place in your oven on the center rack.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until your cake tester (or a toothpick) comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then place a cooling rack on top and invert your bundt cake for easy removal. It should slide right out onto your wire rack. 

This cake is a prefect tea time treat, goes beautifully with your morning cup of coffee and makes an incredible dessert when served warm with a scoop of ice cream or fresh whipped cream.