Caramel Apple Cake
Caramel Apple Cake
Servings: Makes an 8-inch bundt cake; serves 8
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 6- to 8-cup Bundt pan.
- Place the pecans in a small baking pan and toast them in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly colored and fragrant.
- Let cool.
- Mix the eggs, brown sugar, and oil to a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add the pecans and apples and stir with a spatula to combine.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and baking soda over the mixture.
- Fold together until combined so that no streaks of flour remain.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack and place the rack over a baking sheet.
- Using a fork, poke holes all around the sides and top of the cake.
- If the caramel sauce is not in a liquid state, heat it gently on the lowest setting in the microwave until it pours like honey.
- Drizzle the caramel slowly over the cake in an effort to cover the entire cake with a thin layer of glaze.
- If the caramel pools on the pan below, scoop it up and drizzle it over the cake again; the more you get on the cake, the better.
- Allow the caramel to set and the cake to cool completely before slicing.
Baking Tip: If you don’t want to make your own caramel sauce, you can buy it, but be sure it is a thick sauce, such as an ice cream topping. Mexican cajeta or leche quemada works quite well too.
Drunken Caramel Sauce
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, and cinnamon stick.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan using the tip of a knife and toss in the pod.
- Set over low heat to warm the cream, melt the butter, and infuse the flavors, about 3 minutes.
- In a separate deep saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to melt the sugar.
- Using a moist brush, wash any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan.
- Continue to boil without stirring until the sugar syrup begins to color.
- Once it turns golden, gently swirl the pan and watch it closely.
- As soon as the caramel turns an even amber shade, remove from the heat.
- Carefully pour a few tablespoons of the warm cream into the caramel; the mixture will boil up furiously.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Slowly whisk in the remaining cream.
- Continue to whisk until all the caramel is dissolved. Stir in the bourbon, remove the vanilla pod, and let the sauce cool to room temperature before serving.