February 10, 2011

Caramel Apple Cake

I bought a cookbook called 'Baked Explorations' by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito last year and have been meaning to try one the recipes in it. There's so many amazing looking things in there, but I just never got around to making any of them. The guys who wrote this book are also the co-owners of Brooklyn and Charleston, South Carolina bakery 'Baked' which I'm planning on visiting on my trip to New York later in the year.
It was my Mum's birthday recently and I decided to make her the Caramel Apple Cake from the cookbook. I thought it sounded like a delicious combination and the picture looked very effective and it was! The cake was moist and both it and the icing were delicious! The only downside was that it took quite a while to make (worth it though).
The cake usually has three parts to it (four for me!): the actual cake part, the caramel (and corn syrup for me), and the icing. The cake was really simple to make, however it turned out that I had only two cake tins that were the same size. This meant I had to make two of the cakes at the same time, then once they were out of the oven I was able to cook the third.
For the next step I had to make the corn syrup and the caramel and this is where I struggled.The corn syrup part was okay, although it was hard to tell when it was ready and how thick it should be as I've never cooked with corn syrup before. I was going so well with the caramel, turned my back for a second and when I turned back it had gone a little too dark. I was going to remake it but I needed more cream than I had in the fridge so I had to use what I had. 
Once I'd made the caramel I could make the icing. The caramel goes into the icing to give it it's flavour. I had to mix the icing for it to get a 'light and fluffy' constancy but I just couldn't get it! It seemed too runny to put on the cakes. The recipe told me that if this happened I should put the icing in the fridge for a period of time, then take it back out and mix it again but this didn't seem to work either. It turned out that I had a little bit of cream left over so I whipped that until it was thick and firm and then folded it into the icing. This did dull the flavour a little, but I was happy with the result because it took away the burnt flavour from the caramel and thickened the icing to the right consistency.  
Once I had all the parts of the cake ready I was able to assemble it, on my new platter I'd gotten from IKEA. It all went together quite nicely, although despite one side being straight the other side was on a bit of a lean. By the time I'd finished the icing had softened a little bit so I placed it straight in the fridge and took it out a couple of hours before serving, as recommended. This is a great tasting cake and despite taking a while to make, it's definitely one I plan on cooking again!

Recipe Source: 
'Baked Explorations' by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

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