Hello, all – Charlotte Fresh back on the scene, celebrating my 100th post! For this occasion, I’ve done a couple of things:
- Created a new CF logo (yes, I designed and created it myself, tweaking some vintage images) – do you like?
- Revamped my website – take a look! (I’ll be redeveloping the blog very soon, too.)
And, since we’re into apple season, I’m going to share with you a recipe for a boozy apple cake. When I was a kid, my mom made apple cake frequently (not boozy), and it was a family favorite.
I love Mom’s cake, but I’ve made a version that’s got quite the spirit to it (haha). In full disclosure, CF’s cake came about quite by accident. I was on the phone with Little Sis while baking a cake for a picnic (a bad idea since I can’t multitask, especially while talking). Well, gab, gab, gab…I tweaked Mom’s cake as I went along (sorry, bad habit), but forgot to add vanilla. Rats. It was too late to incorporate it because the thick batter was in the pan. A less complex flavor would result, and I would have none of that. Luckily, LSis and I are good at improvising, so we decided that a flavor could be added later as a syrup that soaked into the baked cake. She reminded me of the technique to poke holes into the cake with a skewer to encourage soaking. Love that girl.
I decided that instead of vanilla, I would make things more interesting: soak the cake in a brandy syrup and then glaze…with more brandy. Yummmm. Hence the new cake. It sure sounded good to Hubby, who polished off the excess syrup and glaze left in the bowls. (Sorry, hon, for tattling.) You can use apple brandy, or try a very nice NC-produced apple Moonshine (found at the ABC store) that we tasted at last week’s TerraVita event in Chapel Hill:
So, thanks for being loyal readers and for following CF for 100 posts. From my house to yours, a celebratory fresh recipe.
Fresh Recipe: Boozy Apple Cake
- 3 C all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 C + 1/3 C granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 1/2 C applesauce
- 1 tsp cinnamon + more to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 C cubed apples (peeling optional)
- 3/4 C confectioner’s sugar
- 2/3 C + 2 Tbs brandy or apple moonshine
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter and flour a bundt pan.
Layer 1/3 of the apples evenly in the bottom of the bundt pan. (This will make the cake pretty when you turn it upside down.) Mix the rest of the apples into your batter. Dot the batter on top of the layer of apples, and even it out.
Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Let the cake cool completely.
Gently nudge the cake edges away from the pan and invert onto a large plate. This ensures the cake can come loose from the pan after you syrup it.
Place the cake back into the pan (upside down again). Using a skewer, poke holes randomly around the cake in the pan, being careful not to poke all the way through to the top side of the cake.
In a small saucepan, dissolve 1/3 C granulated sugar and 2/3 C brandy over low to medium heat. Cook and stir for about 8-10 minutes, taking care not to burn or caramelize it. You should be able to draw a quick line in the pan that separates for a second and comes back together as a liquid.
Slowly spoon the syrup over the holes in the cake, trying to get the syrup to soak down in through the holes and not too much down the edges of the cake. Let sit for a couple of hours or covered overnight.
Mix the confectioner’s sugar and 2 Tbs brandy together in a small bowl. Add cinnamon to taste. Flip the cake out of the bundt pan and onto a platter. The top may be a little shiny with sticky syrup – that’s very ok. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake so it runs down the sides evenly. Work quickly because the glaze will begin to set in a couple of minutes. Done!