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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Apples on Apples Upside-Down Layer Cake


I mentioned before that I started participating in FoodBuzz, a web community focused on bloggers sharing their blogs and recipes with other foodies, back in early August.  I had not been in the kitchen nor out to eat much in August, so I hadn't been writing as much as usual.  I needed some inspiration.  FoodBuzz has kick-started my urge to get back in the kitchen.  I've been seeing some incredible recipes through multiple daily visits to FoodBuzz and I saw this cake several weeks ago from one of my first "friends" on FoodBuzz.  I haven't been able to get it off my mind.  Seems to be the year for upside down cakes for me.  I made a yummy Peach Pecan Upside Down Cake...and a Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake...  now this cake is in the upside down neighborhood as well...but with an extra layer of flavor - and a different cake batter and topping.

The original recipe is from a blogger in Cyprus and has metric measurements and an ingredient I couldn't identify.  I converted the measurements as best I could, made some personal preference substitutions and additions, and decided my best choice was vanilla beans for what she called "a vanilla sachet" ...I think it all worked!  What didn't work was getting it all into one pan.  My cake ended up being a two-layer cake...

APPLES ON APPLES UPSIDE-DOWN LAYER CAKE
Adapted from Sinful Apple Madness on Eftychia's  Dream of Cakes blog


TOPPING:
(The upside down topping that you will see on top)

Note - the original recipe called for 1 kg total weight of peeled and cored apples for both topping and filling - that's 2.2 lbs total.  I actually used about two Granny Smiths for the "topping" and I mixed two Gala apples and one really big Fuji for the filling layer.  Also, her cake was one cake - not a layer...but my pan wasn't big enough to accommodate the whole shebang...thus, this recipe became a layer cake ;-p

Ingredients:

Two Granny Smith or other baking apples
1/4 cup granulated white sugar, separated
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, separated
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, separated
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
Enough nice pecan halves (or whatever nut used) to circle the pan

Method:

Peel and core apples.   Cut in quarters and put in a bowl of ice water with the juice of 1/2 lemon.  Hold at this point until ready to put the cake together.

APPLE FILLING:

Ingredients:

3-4 apples (I used 1 large Fuji and 2 Royal Gala for this part)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds - whatever you prefer (I used pecans)
2 tablespoon Moscato or other sweet wine (original recipe called for 1 Tbsp Ouzo - I don't have that - but I had opened a bottle of flipflop Moscato two nights ago and hadn't finished it...so I used that)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Method:

Peel and core apples. 
Dice two apples into small pieces and one or two apple into chunks (used the Fuji for the chunks).
Place apples and sugar into nonstick saucepan or skillet and cook over medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes. 
Add the wine and nuts and stir to coat, allowing to cook for another minute.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Do not add cinnamon or nutmeg yet.

CAKE BATTER

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (I used salted - and I noticed there was no other salt in the original recipe so no adjustment was needed...I always like a bit of salt in the sweet recipes)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 cup natural unflavored yogurt (room temperature)
1/4 cup milk (room temperature)

Method:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat both sugars and butter until light and fluffy.
Add eggs 1 at a time and mix until incorporated.
Add vanilla bean seeds and mix.
Mix one third of the flour into batter.
Whisk the milk and yogurt together and add half of it into the batter.
Mix the second third of the flour into the batter.
Mix the final half of the wet ingredients into the batter.
Add the final third of the flour into batter and mix to a smooth batter.

PREPARING THE CAKE

Preheat oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare one 9" cake pan by spraying with vegetable spray and then inserting a circle of parchment paper, also sprayed with vegetable spray.  Arrange pecans in that pan and set aside. (this will be the one for the topping)
Prepare another 9" cake pan by spraying with vegetable spray and set aside.  (this will be the one for the filling layer)

From topping ingredients above, mix 1/8 cup granulated white sugar, 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon together and sprinkle in bottom of cake pan with pecans in it.   Make sure entire bottom of pan is covered with the sugar mixture.

Slice the topping apples thinly enough that they will, when placed, cover the entire bottom of the cake pan. Place them in an attractive design as this will become the top of the cake.
Sprinkle the apples with the remaining 1/8 cup granulated white sugar, mixed with 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Spoon and smooth down one half of the cake batter over the apple slices.  Set pan aside.

Add cinnamon and nutmeg to cooled cooked apple mixture.  Spoon the cooked apple filling evenly over the bottom of the other cake pan.  Spoon and smooth down the final half of the cake batter over the filling.

Place cake pans on middle rack of oven and bake for 25 minutes. 
Reduce heat to 320 degrees and continue baking another 25-35 minutes.

Remove cakes from oven and place cake pans on rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Carefully run sharp knife around the outside edges to insure release.

You can see a little volcano eruption on the filling cake (left)
and some bubbling up the side on the topping cake (right)

Invert cake with "filling" onto serving plate.  Allow to cool for about 5 more minutes.
Invert the other cake (with topping) onto the filling layer.
Gently remove the parchment paper from the topping and allow cake to cool before slicing.
(I slid a knife along under the parchment because it was really sticky and I didn't want to lift the apples or pecans away with the parchment).
The filling layer on the left and the topping layer on the right.
I couldn't believe how much it caramelized.

This cake has no added leavening beyond the eggs (they aren't really a leavening agent, but they help facilitate the steam which comes from the liquid - mostly from the apples - thus causing what little rising that will occur - just to the edge of the cake pan).  It is very dense and delicious.  If I make it again, I don't know that I'll use all whole wheat flour...with no leavening and a heavy flour, it's really too dense for my taste.  A little baking powder wouldn't have gone awry I think.

Although this is a stand-alone cake, the original is shown with a sprinkling of powdered sugar - so I did that too...but you could serve it with vanilla ice cream, whipped sweet cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce or, like I did, with slightly warmed and drizzled Dulce de Leche for the "caramel apple" taste! (Admittedly, I had to have milk though - the Dulce de Leche kicked it up to a high level of richness that required milk or a good cup of coffee)


I hope you enjoy this wonderful rustic Autumnal cake.  It feels like we are getting ready for Fall despite it still being in the 90s down here in sweltering South Texas.  Sure am thankful for those glorious sea breezes and the little bit of rain we got overnight, which brought the morning temps down into the 70's...woo hoo!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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1 comment:

  1. Your cake is gorgeous ... and looks delish! I'm hopping over from Sweets for a Saturday - glad I found you!! I'm pinning this! Thank you for the inspiration!
    Jade C. @ Effie's Recipe Box

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