We have this amazing cake at work, the most unassuming yet moist and delicious thing you have ever put in your mouth. It was my dad's birthday this week, and so I immediately thought about making it for him. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to collect the recipe, so I had to wing it by piecing together a few different ideas and hoping for the best.
I chose a cake recipe from Bon Appetit, but when I set out to make it I realized it was going to make a teeny tiny sheet of a cake, so I doubled the recipe. Then, when it came out in all of its ugly glory, I knew I would need something to fancy it up, as well as something to go in between the layers. The moist crumb was a red light for a traditional frosting...I know my limits and controlling the wild crumbiness was definitely beyond them.
With my remaining apples, I sauteed an apple butter for a moist middle layer, and then whipped up a glaze to try to disguise what turned out to be the ugliest yet most delicious cake this side of 2009.
apple walnut cake
1/2 c packed brown sugar
Juice three apples. Dice three peeled apples. Simmer the juice and diced apples until mixture is reduced to about a third. Add sugar, stir, and cook over medium heat about twenty minutes.
brown sugar glaze::
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir all ingredients in small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to boil. Reduce heat to medium; whisk until glaze is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4 cups diced peeled apples (about 4)
2 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
2 large egg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour 2 8x8x2-inch baking pans. Mix diced apples, sugar, butter and egg in large bowl to blend. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt over. Add chopped walnuts; mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to prepared pans, dividing evenly.
Bake until cake is brown and crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack.
Spread apple butter over one layer and place the other layer on top. Make glaze and pour over top of cake; let cool 30 minutes before serving.
*adapted from Bon Appetit