Saturday, September 7, 2019

Toffee Apple Cake with Maple Apple Caramel

I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make
Hugh Jackman, A Million Dreams 

The words above are from a song featured in The Greatest Showman, a movie about PT Barnam and the founding of the Barnam and Bailey Circus.  It is a hopeful and uplifting song, which we are currently singing in the community choir that I have joined.  After a hard day, it makes me believe that being together with the people that I love, the world can be a better place.

When I was little, going to the Show or going to the circus always meant that Mum would buy me a toffee apple.  I think at the time I underappreciated the toffee apple because underneath it all, it was just fruit, but as a grown up, I rather enjoy the crunch of the toffee apple and the contrast of the sweet toffee with the tartness of the apple.

Going back a little while, I made a Toffee Apple Cake with Maple Apple Caramel from the May 2019 edition of Delicious magazine.  This cake reminded me fondly of the toffee apples of my childhood, so I had to make it.  My cake is not as grand as the original (which you can see here), as I only made one layer of cake and had one apple on top (although I made three).  Frankly, for a day to day cake, that was enough - a grand cake like the one in the magazine would perhaps be good for a special occasion, but was too OTT for me to make just for fun.

The cake itself is moist as it contains grated apple and buttermilk: 

Here is the finished product - one single layer made from a half recipe of cake, with a single (imperfect) toffee apple adorning the top:

I thought the cake was pretty good, and could be readily made without the fuss of the toffee apples if desired:

Oooh, and do make the maple apple caramel sauce - it is delicious and adds additional moistness to the cake: 

To make the cake my way, you will need:

350g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
250g butter
300g sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
2 apples, peeled and coarsely grated

For the maple apple caramel

125ml apple juice
125ml maple syrup

For the toffee apples + praline

3 small red apples 
1 cup sugar
30g almonds

For the icing

250g cream cheese, softened
92g butter, softened
70g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line one 23cm cake tin.

 Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.

Add the flour and mix in on low.  Fold in the grated apple with a rubber spatula.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for one and a half hours or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin.

For the icing, beat all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer until smooth.

For the maple apple caramel, put the apple juice and maple syrup into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by a third.

For the toffee apples, line 2 baking trays with alfoil, grease the trays, and place a greased wire rack over the top of one tray.

Melt the sugar in a saucepan and wait until the sugar turns golden brown  before using tongs to dip each apple into the toffee, and swirling to coat completely (work quickly as the toffee sets hard quickly).  Place each apple onto the greased wire rack to cool completely.

Pour the rest of the caramel over the foil lined tray and scatter over the almonds.  Once the toffee has set, finely grind up the almond mixture in a food processor.

To assemble, ice the cooled cake with the cream cheese icing, sprinkle the top of the cake with the almond praline, and top with one or more toffee apples. 

Serve the cake in slices drizzled with maple apple caramel.


Johanna GGG said...

This looks delicious - I like the look of the apples on the delicious version but it does look impractical for slicing the cake - but I really love the sound of the apple maple caramel

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Gaye, what a lovely story - I like when recipes intertwine with fond childhood memories...This recipe looks like a perfect fall treat to me - apple cakes are moist and delicious and we love them around here.
Well done!