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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Cake Slice Baker's November Cake ~ Applesauce Spice Cake

 Hello and Happy November!!
I have recently joined a baking group called The Cake Slice Baker's and I couldn't be more excited!  Not only have I been able to meet a group of lovely bakers but they are also extremely talented and oh so, very friendly.  For the next year the Cake Slice Baker's will be baking from a cookbook called, Great Cakes by Carole Walter.   Each month we will choose a recipe from this book based on a poll and present it on-line on or after the 20th of each month.  This month everyone baked an Applesauce Spice Cake from Great Cakes.  I was delighted with this recipe as the cake was delicious!
I found this cake to be full of warm Fall flavors.  Lots of good spices, chopped fruit and nuts all surrounded by a tender and moist cake.  And then because I just love a good icing I whipped up the suggested topping of a Brown Sugar Glaze and drizzled it over the cake.  Perfection! 
I did change a couple of things slightly from the original recipe.  Unfortunately, I did not have any nuts in my pantry so instead I added raisins and dried cranberries which I plumped up in some boiling water for a couple of minutes. I also omitted the allspice that the recipe called for as I was in the  mood for just nutmeg and cinnamon. 
  The steps that were required to create this cake were put together with great thought and care. Such as sifting the dry ingredients a couple of times before adding them into the wet ingredients.  I also found it nice to add the granulated and brown sugar by the tablespoon mixing well in between each addition instead of all at once.
A perfect Fall cake to share a gatherings or to enjoy simply with a cup of delicious hot tea.
Applesauce Spice Cake
Cake Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) butter
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 medium-sized tart greening or Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped medium small (about 2/3 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened bottled applesauce
Brown Sugar Glaze Ingredients:
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
3 Tbsp heavy cream
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a fluted or bundt pan.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a triple sifter a couple of times.  Stir in chopped nuts and set aside.
3. In a large bowl of  mixer cream together butter and lemon rind. Beat at medium-high speed for 1 minute and then add in shortening.  Mix for an additional minute.
4.  Add in granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.  This will take 3-4 minutes to complete.  Next add in brown sugar the same way and scrape sides of the bowl occasionally.
5. With the mixer on medium-low speed add in eggs one at a time in 1 minute intervals.  Add in fresh chopped apple (and dried fruit if you wish) along with vanilla extract.
6. Keeping the mixer on low speed add in flour mixture alternately with applesauce - starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Only beat batter until flour is just incorporated after each addition.  Scrape sides of bowl occasionally.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
8.  Cool cake for 10-15 mintues before inverting onto a serving plate.  While cake cools prepare glaze. 
9.  In a medium size sauce pan melt together brown sugar and butter over low heat.  Stir in heavy cream.  Cook until mixture comes to a gentle boil and then allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat to add in sifted powdered sugar - whisking until smooth.  Add in vanilla extract.  If the glaze is too thick add in more heavy cream, 1 Tbsp at a time.  Pour glaze over warm cake. 
~Store cake at room temperature under a glass dome or in an airtight container for up to 2 days.  If you store in refrigerator cake will store up to 10 days.  Cake should be wrapped tightly and unglazed.
Enjoy!  And be sure to enjoy the links below for all the beautiful Applesauce Spice Cakes that my fellow Cake Slice Baker's made too!
Happy Applesauce Spice Cake Baking!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Maple Cornbread mini Loaves

Today I bring you a VERY special treat from my monthly assignment of the Secret Recipe Club.  I discovered a delicious recipe for Cornbread Muffins on the blog called, Enriching your KidsShirley, who writes and creates this blog, is full amazing ideas for healthy and nutritious meals for her children.  I  loved exploring through her blog as I read all the different (and foreign to me) names of her dishes and ingredients that originate from India. 

I came upon this recipe for cornbread muffins and decided to make it but with a little twist.  I had just bought a 1/2 gallon of REAL maple syrup from a friend of mine and thus I was just itching to open it for a taste.  No better way than to do so by baking with it! So, I switched out the honey that was called for in the recipe for maple syrup.  Delicious!
And then to take it just one step further I made the cornbread into mini loaves instead of muffins. I pictured wrapping up a little loaf of this bread along side a bottle of maple syrup. Both could be tucked away in a sweet basket as a homemade gift for the up coming holiday season.  There is nothing better than a gift from your kitchen in my book!
I definitely encourage a visit to Enriching your Kid as I am sure you will enjoy your time there just as I did.  And, be sure to check out all the scrumptious creations in the links found below as these are all from my fellow Secret Recipe Club friends! :-)
Maple Cornbread mini Loaves
(original recipe found on Enriching your Kid)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour (Shirley's recipe called for whole wheat - I used white)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup (or HONEY)
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease desired pans (2 mini loaf pans or 12 regular size muffin tins).
2. In a large bowl combine and mix well all together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda. 
3. Mix together egg and milk and pour into a well of the dry ingredients.  Add in melted butter and maple syrup too.  Stir just until combined being careful not to over mix batter.
4. Pour into prepared pan and bake.  20-22 minutes for mini loaves or 15 minutes or muffins.  Cool slightly before serving.  A little drizzle of warmed maple syrup over the top would be delightful!
Happy Maple Cornbread mini Loaves Baking! 



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