We had special guests coming over to our house this week and I was commissioned to bake something for dessert. I decided to try out the Spiced Apple Cake with Brown Sugar frosting, solely based on the fact that it would be big enough to feed a lot of people.
Reading through the ingredients, I did start to get a little scared so I think its my responsibility to provide this warning: this cake has a hell of a lot of butter and sugar in it; I mean LOTS! Naturally my mum managed to find out and had a mini heart attack but I tried to calm her down with the knowledge that a little slice wouldn’t have THAT much in it (denial is so sweet!).
Anyways, onto baking this monster of a cake. The first part consists of grating the apples and cooking it with some butter, sugar and yummy spices. The smell of this alone got my tummy rumbling! I then chopped up all the pecan nuts while the syrup type liquid cooled.
Once everything was chopped and ready it was again a matter of whisking together the wet ingredients and slowly adding the dry ingredients. Sound simple? For this monster cake, nothing seemed to be simple. It took a long time to mix the dry ingredients in. I have to admit that hand mixing the pecans and the apples was definitely a good arm work out though.
Unfortunately I didn’t have 4 cake tins to hand so I poured the batter into three and improvised with a loaf tin (decided on a mini side cake to go with the monster). Cooking time took a lot longer as there was more in each tin and with 4 different tins to check; the oven door got left open for a while. This is why my cakes have sunk a bit.
While the cakes were cooling I prepared the icing; again I was shocked at how much butter went into it but I decided that this not-so-normal cake needed not-so-normal icing. Once the icing was ready, I left it to cool for an hour.
Icing the cake was easier than normal. My best tip for icing a layered cake with any sort of icing would be to start with a crumb coat. This is simply a thin layer of icing that you spread over the cake, that once dry, keeps in all the crumbs. When you start icing a second layer the icing comes out a lot smoother and straighter.
I decorated the cake by drawing stripes in the icing using the palette knife and going round the edges with a randomly chosen Wilton nozzle. My cake did turn out looking more like a basket but it was the taste I was counting on.
The cake actually got a round of applause at the dinner party, everyone loved the taste and the nutty texture; even the icing went down well. They loved the fact that it wasn’t too sweet but had a nice mix of both cake and icing.
If I’m completely honest however, I was let down a bit by the apple flavour, or lack of. I couldn’t wait for the spiced apple taste but found it seriously lacking. Although the cake went down amazingly well, I don’t think I’ll be making it again. I would recommend this cake to people who don’t have much of a sweet tooth but still enjoy a nice dessert; just be warned that its tastes more like a pecan cake than a spiced apple cake and is a tiny bit calorific!