Food. Lifestyle. Love

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Recipe: Apple cake and caramel glaze

Apples have never been my favorite fruits. The crunchiness, the subtle sweetness with a touch of acidity are the reasons why I dislike apples, and yet what others love about them. I had plenty of apples that I bought from the market and given by my friend. I was hoping for my hubby to eat them once a day, but it didn't turn out that way. The apples were about to turn bad that I had to make several desserts to get rid of them. Turning the apples into dessert is the only way for me to eat them, and the best way for me to finish them up quickly.

I used Elstar apples for all my desserts as it is the most abundant cultivar in the Netherlands. One of my favorite apple dessert is this apple cake recipe from Paula Deen. I made few modification especially the amount of apples I put into it. The result was juicy and flavorful cake. My hubby gave some to his friends and they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Apple cake with toffee glaze
[click for printable version]

Apple cake
6 apples, peeled and diced
1 cup roasted pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla powder 
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 1/4 dark brown sugar (or more for sweeter cake)
1 1/4 cups corn oil
3 eggs

Caramel glaze
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Lightly greased a Bundt pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, vanilla powder, baking soda, salt, the spices, set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the oil and brown sugar until combine. Beat the egg in the oil mixture one by one on a low speed. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix.
4. Fold in the diced apples and pecan into the mixture. Scrape of the cake batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
5. Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan, and put it out onto a plate.
6. Make the glaze by melting the butter and brown sugar in a small pot on a medium heat. Set aside and combine the caramel mixture with icing sugar. Pour the glaze onto the cooled cake.

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Recipe: Chocolate bundt cake with salted caramel chocolate ganache

It was late at night and I was craving to eat chocolate cake. Too much mental work made my body hunger for sweet stuff. I procrastinated and took some time to prepare bundt cake as I was lazy to make layer cake.

As I was covering the cake with chocolate ganache, I felt the presence of my husband near me. He looked at me in a weird way,  'are you going to eat that now?'  he asked concernedly. I stopped for a moment and resisted the temptation of having that one sinful bite. He has a point there, if I didn't cycle I would look like a whale by now. Reluctantly I waited the next day to gorge over the delicious cake. Besides, I think cake tastes better the next day  ;)

Chocolate bundt cake with salted caramel chocolate ganache
*I used a tea cup for the cup measurement

1 cup butter (approximately 215 g), softened 
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup cocoa powder (I used Valrhona cocoa powder)
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Salted caramel chocolate ganache
60 gm butter
50 gm dark brown sugar
45 ml cream
100 gm dark chocolate (I used Valrhona)
sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.  Grease the bundt pan with butter and dust it with flour.
2. Combine cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl, and in another bowl combine buttermilk and Greek yogurt together, set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar using a stand mixer on a high speed until creamy and fluffy (about 10 minutes). Add eggs one by one followed with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Add half the flour mixture and mix until well combined followed with the buttermilk mixture and another half of the flour mixture. 
4. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and spread the batter smoothly. Bake in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out smoothly. 

To make the salted caramel chocolate ganache
1. Melt the butter and brown sugar on a pot on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves, set aside.
2. Combine the cream and dark chocolate in a porcelain bowl and melt the chocolate in a microwave (about 1 minute and 30 seconds), set aside
3. Combine the caramel into the chocolate ganache mixture and sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Pour the ganache on the cooled cake.

*for delicious chocolate cake, use great quality chocolate and cocoa powder. Valrhona is one of the bests but you can also use Callebaut etc

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