The first morning cup of coffee is always the best. The pillow-like foam is so easy to make—the Nespresso Milk Frother is the perfect tool. The secret to good foam is organic 2% milk. Now you know how I start everyday before I go to the bakery! And wait until you see the Caramel Apple Cakes that would be perfect with a coffee anytime of day...
CARAMEL APPLE CAKES
THE CARAMEL SAUCE
Butterscotch Sauce aka Caramel Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
I love Caramel/Butterscotch Sauce and I have an easy recipe in my book, Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours. So let's make the versatile sauce first and whatever is left over, you can tuck in the refrigerator and pour it over anything you like—ice cream for starters. When gooey,creamy and buttery, it is the best!
Baker’s Note: One important thing to remember when caramelizing sugar is to be sure to cook it until it is the deep amber copper color of an old penny. If the caramel isn’t smoking with a distinct bitter aroma, it isn’t ready, and the finished sauce will lack depth of flavor. And remember that caramel is extremely hot, so use extra caution when making it, and especially when adding the hot cream to the caramelized sugar.
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Seeds from ½ Vanilla Bean or ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming.
2. Combine the sugar and ¼ cup water in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and cook, occasionally swirling the saucepan by its handle instead of stirring with a spoon, until the caramel is a deep copper color and is smoking, 3 to 5 minutes. (The caramel will smoke for a while before it reaches the right color. So don’t use the smoke as your only indication that it is done. It should have a distinct, slight sharp aroma that doesn’t smell merely sweet.) Do not be alarmed if the syrup browns in one area before the entire mixture has turned copper color—just swirl the saucepan, and the browned area will combine with the clear syrup.
3. Add the butter to the caramel and let it melt. Carefully and gradually pour the hot cream into the caramel—it will bubble up. Whisk, being sure to get into the corners of the saucepan, until the bubbles have receded and the sauce is smooth. Strain the sauce through a wire sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla seeds (or extract). Let cool to room temperature. (The sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat slightly in a small saucepan or microwave oven just until more fluid but not hot.)
THE APPLE CAKES
Makes one 10-inch or 8-10 small cakes based on the dimensions of the pans.
Bakers Note: I used two molds for the smaller cakes that yield 6 individual cakes each, approximately 3 1/2-inches in diameter.
The wonderful thing about these little beauties is that you can use your own basic cake recipe— one that you would bake in a tube or bundt pan. If you like, add a little cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to your recipe and follow the directions below.
You will need 3-4 green apples, depending on size, cut into 1/3-inch- cubes, approximately 4 cups. Fold 2 cups into your finished batter and mix the remaining 2 cups of apples in a bowl with 3/4- cup of the Caramel Sauce above.
1. Evenly distribute the apple-caramel mixture in the bottom of a buttered 6-cake mini-tube pan or use a one-piece 10-inch tube pan. DO NOT use pans with removable bottoms, the caramel sauce will seep out through the bottom joint.
2. Fill the pans (or single pan) with the batter. Place in a 350°F oven bake for approximately 30-35 minutes for individual cakes, or 50 to 60 minutes for the larger one. Remove from the oven and Invert the pan a half-sheet tray. Carefully remove the pan. If any of the apples remain in the bottom of the pan, remove them with a small silicon spatula and place them on top of the cakes. When cool, store at room temperature until ready to serve.
3. If you like lots of caramel, serve with some of the remaining caramel sauce on the side. To reheat the sauce, place the caramel in a heat-proof glass bowl and set it in a larger heat-proof bowl filled with very hot water, for a few minutes before serving.
Tags: Apple Cakes
, Caramel Apple Cakes
, Sarabeth's Bakery