I make a lot of cakes, yet, for all of the experience miles I have clocked up, you may be surprised to know that even I have bad cake days. Having said that, when I had a bad cake day this week , it resulted in a discovery that caused a sensation.
Situation: Cake due Friday AM for Moniques Mother’s birthday dinner
- 9 pm Thursday night. All ingredients for the frosting on my cake ( cooked Wed 10pm) are assembled beaten and ready to be applied. (cream cheese and Australian cultured butter)
- I am sure that the cake, a fresh pineapple and carrot cake does not look quite right. Upon closer inspection (a kind expression, as tiredness and exasperation has set in) I discard this version of the birthday cake and try to consider my options.
- Course of action: Consider ingredients and prepare to remake (preferably a cake that will cook and cool quickly and be everything it needs to be to charm and delight the birthday girl)
- The ingredients available are not too varied indeed, the choice is sparse, it’s buttercake maybe… ( she requested no chocolate). In the depths of the cupboard are some Spiral Foods apple sauce ( I know!!) I have saved an American recipe using apple sauce and have been meaning to try it. Seems to be the time. Yeah I really have no idea what it is like but………. I will stay up all night if I have to.
- The recipe is simple enough. I make a few minor changes and, as I pop it in the oven 15 minutes later, I really hope it tastes as nice as it smells. I have some very tart apples that I can’t eat and figure that they may be a nice surprise centre for the Bundt cake I have whipped up. Sure enough once diced and tossed with vanilla and a touch of sugar and butter in a non stick frypan, they look quite delicious. I put them in the freezer- to blast chill.
- The cake is cooked. it’s springy light and smells good. With precious little time before 10.35pm I turn it out and slip it into the freezer beside the apples. The apples are cool, we just have to wait for the cake. It’s late now,but we’re on the home stretch. (that’s me and the cake)
- The cake is finally ready, dishes are done, benches are clean frosting is ready for application. Once I have filled the centre with the apples , I frost over them, so that they will be a surprise when the cake is cut. Roasted walnuts seem like they’d be a good idea, because the crunch of them will work well with the creamy frosting. This is the apple sauce cake.
- And this is now bedtime!
What then, is the sensation about this cake? Well as it turns out . The birthday girl was so happy with it that she said it was the best cake she’s ever had…… big call. I figured I had to make it again (and taste it for myself), which I did, and the picture above is the second one. I took this one to work, where it was eaten very quickly and declared …… a sensation.
So in the interests of public demand I will share with you The Sensational Apple Sauce Cake….. even though I could keep it to myself and sell a whole lot of them.
Sensational Apple Sauce Cake
- 300 gm flour plain (2 cups)
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 whole eggs large
- 200 gm caster sugar 1 cup
- 90 gm brown sugar 1/2 cup
- 1 1/2 cups apple sauce unsweetened and/or homemade
- 170 ml oil
Butter, cream cheese frosting.
- 250 gm unsalted butter softened
- 250 gm cream cheese
- 60 ml lemon Juice 3 tablespoons
- 500 gm pure icing sugar sifted
- 100 gm toasted walnuts or more if you like them
- 1/4 teaspoon of both cinnamon and nutmeg
- 4 Granny Smith Apples peeled and diced, large
- 50 gm sugar
- 30 gm butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 20 ml lemon Juice 1 Tablespoon
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F and grease a bundt tin ( optional)approx 12 cup.
- Sift the flour and baking soda and mix with the spices set aside
- Beat the eggs and sugar till light and airy ( this will make the base for the cake so don't skimp here.) Then beat in the applesauce, oil and vanilla.
- Fold the dry ingredients into this mixture, without over working
- Pour into the tin and bake approx. 45 minutes.
- Testing the cake with a skewer before removing from the oven.
- To make the icing; Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy and then add the juice add 3/4 of the sugar. Beat again until very light. Add more sugar to taste
- To cook the apples Heat a non stick frypan and add the butter. When the butter is melted add the apples lemon juice sugar and scrapped vanilla seeds.
- Toss the apples on low until they are cooked through. Add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth. But remember the icing will also be sweet
- Turn the cake onto a dish and fill the centre with the apples. Ice the cake, covering the top of the apples, and smoothing over. Scatter the walnuts on to the top of the cake and sprinkle it with the nutmeg and cinnamon.