Sunday, August 8, 2010

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

I had this Rachel Ray recipe on my cooking short list for a while, but I kept putting it off for some reason (so many desserts, so little time). I decided to finally give it a go the night we had Pork Chops with Apples and Onions since I'm kind of nerdy and like when dinner and dessert use similar ingredients.

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I did shortcut this recipe and just use a boxed cake mix but it came out just fine. I would have liked to include some applesauce in my cakes, but I didn't have any on hand. Overall, I thought this cake was good and it totally reminded me of fall. I also liked the caramel butter cream, but watch out cause it is super sweet.

Would I make this again? This is the type of recipe where I see myself using the frosting or filling but in different ways. Good cake to be able to fall back on though.

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

Ingredients:

2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 sticks (1 pound) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 crisp apples (about 1 pound), such as gala, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup store-bought caramel sauce

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

1. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt. Mix in 2 sticks butter at low speed until the mixture is crumbly.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup cream, applesauce and vanilla. Mix into the flour-butter mixture at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

3. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to release the layers, invert onto the rack and let cool completely.

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4. In a medium skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the apple slices and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the juice is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

5. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 2 sticks butter and the confectioners' sugar until light and creamy. With the mixer on low, slowly mix in the caramel sauce.

6. Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate; spread the apple filling evenly on top, then cover with the remaining cake layer. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, cover the top and sides of the cake with the caramel frosting, swirling the top to make a decorative pattern.

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