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Baked Explorations Caramel Apple Cake

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soccermom13 Sep 20, 2011 05:23 AM

Has anyone made this?
http://cookingbythebook.com/blog/reci...

If so, pls let me know what you think. Thanks!

  1. blue room Sep 20, 2011 08:13 AM

    Wow, that does look exceptional, doesn't it! Homemade applesauce, even. I'd like to try it too.
    I notice it uses frosting with *flour* -- that has been discussed here, here's a link:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760095

    1 Reply
    1. re: blue room
      roxlet Sep 22, 2011 09:33 AM

      This is the first time I've seen a caramel variation on flour frosting. I am extremely enthusiastic about flour frosting, and adding caramel sounds like a great touch!

    2. bushwickgirl Sep 20, 2011 10:53 AM

      You can't go wrong with that recipe, go for it. I'd use Macs for the sauce. This recipe gives me an excuse to buy another 8 inch cake pan. Good to have three of them anyway.

      Baked (the bakery) is in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, wish it had been there when I lived in that area.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl
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        soccermom13 Sep 21, 2011 05:23 AM

        Hi Blue and Bushwick,
        If either of you make this, pls post with your review. We have two crazy weekends coming up so I won't be able to bake for a while.

        Blue,
        I LOVE flour icing and it looks like Matt Lewis uses it for most (if not all) of his cakes.

        1. re: soccermom13
          bushwickgirl Sep 21, 2011 11:10 AM

          Will do.

      2. maplesugar Sep 21, 2011 11:19 AM

        Not yet but that recipe is the reason I bought the book. Although I own more 9 inch(3) than 8 inch(1) pans.... hrm.

        1. r
          rainey Sep 21, 2011 11:32 AM

          I"m working on a different apple cake right now so not likely I'll get around to this but I will save it for my database.

          I enjoyed reading the entry. I'm also from the Hudson Valley so I know exactly what he's saying about the apples. I miss them and the fabulous unpasturized cider soooo much this time of year. We used to drive out to the cider mill and just put a container in the stream of juice as it was pressed from the apples. OMG! There is nothing better!

          His applesauce method is very much like mine. ...tho I don't mash mine. I let it have all the texture it wants once it's cooked down. His method is better for a cake to be sure but if people don't do anything more than make some homemade applesauce for their oatmeal or just snacking they're missing some serious yummy!

          1. s
            suzy_homemaker Sep 22, 2011 08:13 AM

            Funny enough, this was a birthday cake I served just last night. So, I'll give you the breakdown.

            I'd gone apple picking over the weekend, so I had fresh apples for the apple sauce. Let me remind you to make sure you take all the skins off the apples, because even after pureeing, you will notice if you missed a bit of skin. I used 8 or 9 large apples.

            The cakes themselves are excellent. They came out very nice and moist, no cracks and quite flavorful.

            Making the caramel sauce was interesting - had never made this before. The recipe says to remove the pot from heat once you add the butter and cream to the pot. I had to return it to the heat (low) with cream and butter added because the sugar actually crystallized when I added the cooled ingredients. No crisis, as the heat dissolved it just fine, but you might have to do that. Also, the stuff was SO good that I actually ate some of it by the spoonful. SO GOOD!

            The frosting was quite interesting and has a different texture that I'm used to for butter cream (never made a frosting that was cooked and had flour). The flavor is excellent.

            All together, I think the recipe is very good, but next time, I would probably reduce it by a third to end up with only 2 layers. Three made it not only a HUGE cake (there were 6 of us and we barely got through a quarter of the cake) but it made assembly a little challenging. I'm sure it's partly that I'm not a cake artist, but the frosting combined with the cake made putting the whole thing together tough. It wasn't nearly as pretty as the photo in the book, but it was a good cake all together. I recommend it.

            Enjoy!

            6 Replies
            1. re: suzy_homemaker
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              rainey Sep 22, 2011 08:27 AM

              That's great to hear. I am seriously thinking about this as a Thanksgiving dessert since soccermom13 brought it to my attention.

              Good apple flavor in the cake?

              1. re: rainey
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                suzy_homemaker Sep 22, 2011 08:36 AM

                Hm. I think so. There is a lot apple spice to the cake, so the first you notice is the smell and taste of all those spices - I think my brain just assumes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and apples are married! But the apple does eventually come to you.

                1. re: suzy_homemaker
                  s
                  soccermom13 Sep 23, 2011 05:25 AM

                  Suzy_h-

                  Thank you so much for the great review--I'm gonna try to make it next weekend! Would you reduce the amt of spices if you were to make it again?

                  Also--I can totally sympathize with your cake not turning out "as pretty as the photo in the book"---I have resigned myself to being happy if I can make foods taste good; having them both taste good and look terrific is (at this time) above my pay grade :0)

                  I love the look of three layer cakes---so tall and festive! But I agree it's a lot of cake. I usually bring cakes like this to family gatherings or to the office, so the entire cake is consumed----fast. :0) If it's at home, it's too tempting.

                  1. re: soccermom13
                    r
                    rainey Sep 23, 2011 09:00 AM

                    Do you guys do a crumb coat with the icing first? That makes a huge difference. So does using a cardboard cake circle so that you have a secure way to handle the cake and work at convenient angles.

                    Then too, it's worth considering that they pay BIG BUCKS for food stylists and photographers that can make things look sexy. When you compare yourself to those images you're just setting yourself up. ;> Meanwhile, delicious is delicious and MORE than good enough!

                    1. re: rainey
                      s
                      suzy_homemaker Sep 23, 2011 09:12 AM

                      Rainey -
                      I did do the crumb coat - this is a recent learning for me. It helps a lot, especially with this icing. The frosting is slippery, even compared to other kinds of frosting, so I definitely recommend the crumb coat.

                    2. re: soccermom13
                      s
                      suzy_homemaker Sep 23, 2011 09:10 AM

                      Soccermom -
                      To be honest, I LOVE the spice in the cake. The house will smell of fall within a few minutes of putting the cakes in the oven. But, I do believe it's first a spice cake, and second an apple cake. So, I'll leave it to you to decide. I wouldn't have changed it though.

                      And as for the cake quantity - a third of it is sitting in the office fridge to share with my co-workers. Entirely too much to stare at in the house!

              2. p
                poppygirl Oct 9, 2011 09:48 AM

                I made this yesterday and it was excellent! A keeper for sure. The apple flavouring of the cake is fantastic. I made a few changes. I did not make homemade applesauce. I did however buy some very expensive, organic applesauce. Don't know if that made a difference, but wanted to get "good stuff" since I wasn't making my own. I made a regular vanilla frosting, not the one listed in the recipe. Instead of covering the top in caramel (I was worried about a 'cutting the cake' disaster), I put the caramel in a pretty bowl and spooned a pretty pattern of caramel on each piece of cake and its plate. Given the enormous size of this cake, I'm very happy I did this. We have about 3/4 leftover and I think all that caramel dripping down the sides wouldn't have worked out so well. As it stands I have a fabulous part-cake that I'm going to bring with us to our next Thanksgiving dinner! All in all, a really great cake.

                1 Reply
                1. re: poppygirl
                  r
                  rainey Oct 9, 2011 11:19 AM

                  Thanks for the report! I've got it on the menu for a Thanksgiving dessert. I'm looking forward to trying it.

                  I've already ordered this knife for slicing and serving: http://bakingbites.com/2011/09/the-ca... Hope it will live up to its promise.

                2. Kajikit Oct 10, 2011 09:17 AM

                  The recipe looks divine. I love apple cake and caramel. Do you think it would work if I used two rectangular pans instead of three round ones? I'd like to bake it to take to church and a two-layer rectangular cake is MUCH more practical for a crowd than a towering round one. Also what does he mean by 'paddle attachment' for the mixer? Would it work with a regular mixer?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Kajikit
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                    suzy_homemaker Oct 10, 2011 10:43 AM

                    Kajikit -
                    A two layer rectangular cake will certainly work, but you'll have adjust the baking time. I agree that it would be much more practical than the tower. You'll be baking a somewhat thicker cake (though perhaps not, depending on how large the pans are?) so just be sure to check the cakes often, or find a similar recipe that uses rectangular pans to guesstimate the baking time.

                    I actually ALSO adjusted this recipe to make cupcakes and mini cupcakes, using a different frosting. So, I can say the recipe definitely scales DOWN very happily. Like rainey commented on September 21, I left the apples in larger chunks to have more texture in the cupcake revision. The large cupcakes took about 22 minutes and the minis about 17.

                    (I've written up the recipe and the cupcakE notes on my blog, if anyone wants to look into that. Chowhound will probably have a hissy fit if I share my blog here, but it's listed in my profile if anyone wants to check that out.

                    The paddle attachment refers to this attachment on a stand mixer, such as from Kitchen Aid: http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/...

                    1. re: suzy_homemaker
                      Kajikit Oct 11, 2011 11:31 AM

                      Hmmmm... I don't have an attachment like that. Just a regular hand-held mixer, but it has three different blades - a skinny beater, a fatter beater, and a wire whisk. I guess I'd use the fatter beater? I also thought about maybe making the recipe into cupcakes... but a big cake is easier to transport, especially if I put it into one of those foil baking pans with a clip-on top. Those things are a life-saver!
                      I looked at apples yesterday. Alas they're still $2.50 a pound in the supermarket. I thought apples were a fall fruit. Isn't it Fall now? When will the price start to come down to something halfway reasonable?

                      1. re: Kajikit
                        Caitlin McGrath Oct 11, 2011 11:59 AM

                        I would just use the fatter beater, or whichever you'd usually use to beat up cake batter or cookie dough. I have only a hand mixer, and it is fine for this sort of cake.

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