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Thursday, February 07, 2008

How Barmy Got Her Groove Back

Well, more like how I'm working on getting my groove back. I decided that I needed to just start browsing my baking books again, this was a daily habit of mine awhile back and when I lost my baking mojo I just kind of let the books sit on the shelf collecting dust. I have now turned to one of my favorite (also a favorite of many many other people)baking books, left my baking mojo to fate and let the book fall open to where it would. As I'm a bit rusty on the blogging bit of things, I'll just get right to it and present you with the Double Apple Bundt Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. It was quite a fortunate fall open, as it was a recipe I hadn't tried yet from the book and the ingredient list reads like heaven. So without further ado, on to the recipe!

Double Apple Bundt Cake (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours) :

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I do think next time I'll add a full teaspoon of cinnamon)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (I don't really measure my fresh ground nutmeg, I just grate it over the flour and guess when it's enough..mmmmm, fresh ground nutment...)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsps or 5 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup store bought apple butter, spiced or plain (I didn't have any of this on hand, but I had quite a few apples. I made them into a cranberry applesauce and then cooked that down to apple butter consistency the day before I baked this cake. I used approximately 7 apples peeled and sliced, 1/2 cup cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Cook it over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan, puree once the apple are soft and then continue to simmer it over low low heat until it reduces by about half.)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (I have my seemingly endless supply of booze soaked raisins, so I used those here...the ones I currently have on hand are soaked in bourbon)
Confectioner's sugar or Icing to finish (optional, Icing recipe to follow)

-Preheat oven to 350f and position a rack in the center of the oven.
-Butter and flour a 9 to 10 inch Bundt cake pan.
-Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.
-With a stand mixer and paddle attachment, or a hand held mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about five minutes on medium speed.
-Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each before adding another beating one minute for each addition.
-Add the apple butter on low speed. The mixture may appear curdled when you add the apple butter, but that's ok!
-Mix in the grated apple on low speed until completely blended in.
-Continuing on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix only until the flour just disappears. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts.
-Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth it out evenly.
-Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes or until a little knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
-Cool the cake for five minutes on a rack and then turn the cake out of the pan. Let the cake cool to room temperature and then either wrap it up, or dust with confectioner's sugar or ice and serve!

the Icing:
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp or so of fresh orange or lemon juice
-Mix together until you get a nice smooth consistency and drizzle over the finished cake.

This cake is moist and delicious, the smell of my apartment was just heavenly. I'll make this again and again for company. Really that's all I can say about it...need I say more?

I do hope G's coworkers enjoy it!

Serve it up with your favorite beverage of choice. I enjoyed my little slice o' heaven with a nice cuppa.

Happy Baking!

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Lien said...

this looks absolutely stunning. I can almost smell it her... and I want some!!! Good job!

DaviMack said...

Weeeeeee! Baking again! Yay!

Polliwoggy said...

Wow, that sounds great! I have some peach butter in my pantry...I wonder if I could use that and change up the recipe a bit?

Would you mind answering a question for me? I have made your recipe for basic bread several times, and each time has turned out differently. This time something strange happened - the loaf sort of fell in the oven. The top flattened, and even became a little concave. Do you know what I did wrong? It was looking lovely and poofy until 5 minutes before I put it in the oven.

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Thank you, Lien!

Thanks, Davimack, tis nice to be back here and there.

Polliwoggy, thank you! I think making this with peaches would be lovely. Yum!

It sounds to me as if the bread is being overproofed. This can happen for any number of reasons...warmer weather, more active yeast beasties, or just letting it rise a bit too long. Overproofing will make the loaf fall in the oven, or before it goes in. I'd say cut down your proofing time and you want the dough to still have just a little give when you put it in the oven to bake. If you just give it a gentle poke, the indent should just stay, you want it to slowly spring back. That's what it sounds like to me :). Hope that helped!

Polliwoggy said...

Thank you so much! I think I'm letting it rise too long. It's definitely not warm here (it's been snowing in Flagstaff for weeks). I thought, too, I might be underkneading it. I don't have a mixer, so I do it all by hand. Maybe I'm just not going long enough. The bread's pretty tender when it's baked, too, so I thought maybe the gluten was underdeveloped. I really appreciate the tips. I know you're busy. I'll let you know how it turns out, if that's okay. Thanks again. And again, welcome back! We're all so happy about it!

Brilynn said...

This book is a constant source of inspiration for me! Glad you're baking again!

rhid said...

This look so tasty! I love - and I mean LOVE that Dorie book! I have yet to bake this one yet - but this looks really good - I'll have to give it a go!

Josh Anderson said...

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Miri said...

hey! that's similar to how i got back into baking and etc...! i went through this phase of not cooking for some crazy reason