Thursday, 5 September 2013

Split Personality Caramel Apple Cake (eggless)

I may have overstepped the bounds of sanity on this one. While looking for a new topping for my French Apple Cake, I stumbled upon two recipes.  One was creamy, drippy, and totally luscious.  The other was nutty, crunchy, and sticky.  There is only one thing for a girl with far too much time on her hands and not enough concern for her figure to do:

A girl should never be forced to choose between caramels.
At least I didn't make two cakes. See? Restraint. It is a thing that I definitely have.

FYI I'm not actually advocating doing both of these toppings for one cake! Try each one separately, or just the one that appeals most to your tastes - otherwise you will have to rig up some ridiculous aluminum foil contraption to keep the almond topping from spilling onto the other half (only crazy people do those things...).  But, if you desperately need to try both recipes and make two cakes as a result, I won't tell ;)

Almond Caramel Crunch Topping [for French Apple Cake]
Adapted from Crumbs and Cookies blog

Makes 8-10 servings
  • Ingredients for 1 batch of French Apple Cake
  • 1 cup flaked almonds, toasted [Tip: To toast almond flakes, heat in dry frying pan over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until evenly light brown]
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a deep 9 inch cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper. 
  2. Follow instructions to mix French Apple Cake batter (i.e. steps 2 to 6 of that recipe).
  3. Spread batter in prepared cake tin and bake for 5 minutes. Then lower oven temperature to 350F.  The batter will bake for another 15-20 minutes before the topping is added.  It should be just starting to turn golden brown around the edges but still wet on the surface.
  4. 5-10 minutes after you have turned the temperature down to 350F, prepare the topping by combining all remaining ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts bubbling and thickens slightly.
  5. Once the cake reaches the desired state describe in step 3, remove from the oven and increase oven temperature back to 400F.  Pour topping evenly over the cake and return to oven.  This is where you find out if your cake pan is deep enough - I suggest placing the cake on a baking sheet to catch spills before returning to the oven, if you are not sure.
  6. After 8-10 minutes, remove the cake from the oven.  Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.  Once cooled to room temperature, serve!
Crunchy and glistening, could this combo possibly be [tee hee] topped?

Luscious Caramel Glaze [for any cake]
Adapted from Little Figgy blog

Makes enough glaze for one 9 inch cake
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-12oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5-6 tablespoons icing sugar
  1. Heat sugar and water in a deep saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add evaporated milk and baking soda, stir until mixed thoroughly into sugar water.
  3. Increase heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring frequently.  Mixture will become thick and golden brown. Note: especially in the first half hour, the mixture will foam up repeatedly.  Just keep an eye on it and stir it all back together when that happens.
  4. Reduce heat back to low, stir in vanilla, and sift icing sugar into sauce one tablespoon at a time.  Mix each tablespoon of icing sugar into sauce after adding. Stir until all icing sugar is dissolved (you can also get rid of any stubborn lumps with a hand blender).
  5. Cool the sauce to room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator.
  6. Refrigerate the sauce for 3 hours and then pour over cake.  Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.
I hope you enjoy :)

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