Apple Cake with Toffee Crust
The Fall is my favorite season and nothing says it better than the fresh crop of apples that abound. While visiting a friend in Massachusetts I had her version of this apple cake that originally appeared in Food and Wine by Chef Lara Atkins. I further tweaked it using EVOO, coconut sugar and nutmeg. You can make the toffee sauce but neither one of us did and the cake is perfect all by itself.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh ground if possible)
1 1/4 cups Trampolini Black Label extra virgin olive oil
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups ½ inch diced apples (Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala are best)
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
TOFFEE SAUCE (optional)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brandy
Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, nutmeg and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the granulated sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Fold in the diced apples with a rubber spatula. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cream and brown sugar/coconut sugar and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring. Remove the toffee glaze from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Place the warm cake (still in its pan) on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the hot glaze over the cake and let it seep into the cake, poking lightly with a toothpick. Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours. Invert the cake onto a plate, and invert again onto another plate, right side up.
(optional) In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Cook without stirring until a medium-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly but carefully stir in the cream and butter. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the brandy. Pour the toffee sauce into a pitcher.
Slice the cake and serve with the toffee sauce if you made it and vanilla ice cream.