Salted Apple Sliver Cake

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Around the holidays, we tend to go big.  Usually this  means a lot of work for the payoff of great flavors.  Yet, this time around we wanted to keep it a little simpler.  Certainly there are a few components to this dish, but altogether it is a cake with fruit filling and frosting.  Not too complicated when you break it down.  Of course, this time the flavor is not just impressive but the size as well.  We went big with three whole layers.  Let’s just say when you cut a slice of this for your family they will be stunned. 

As for the ingredients well, it uses some of our favorite new creations.  With spiked apples, salted caramel and whipped frosting.  If you can make all of those things plus a cake, then you are certainly able to pull this off.  Over all we wanted to do something different for our fall treats.  We’re used to the same variety of pies at this time of year.  So, we wanted to switch our focus on other fall flavors.  We traded in gourds for apples and the results are splendid.  The cake is definitely large, but it is also definitely disappearing at the same rate as any other.  Which is more impressive because it seems to be three times the size of a regular cake.

I picked up everything for this recipe at the Sunset Foods in Long Grove.  They truly have the most amazing selection of groceries.  I just knew they’d have all the ingredients.  That’s the great thing about Sunset, I can easily find what I’m looking for in one trip.  Whereas if I’d shopped elsewhere, I’d have had to go to multiple stores.

I’d recommend making the caramel and apples the day before to make things easier on yourself.  I went with McIntosh apples for this recipe because to me they just taste like sweettarts.  If you use different baking apples, you’ll need to taste and adjust the sugar as needed.

Also the cake should be refrigerated at least 1-2 hours before serving.  This will make it a lot easier to slice as the buttercream frosting will firm up nicely.

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup raw sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
In a medium saucepan, cook sugar until it starts to melt and then whisk continuously until it’s melted.  Remove whisk and occasionally swirl pan until caramel reaches 345 degrees.  Whisk in butter, be careful because mixture will bubble up a lot.  When butter is fully incorporated, slowly whisk in cream and then whisk in salt.  Allow to cool to room temperature, pour in a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Spiked Apple Filling
8 (2 1/2 lbs)McIntosh apples, peeled and thinly sliced
5 tablespoons raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces of your favorite whisky
In a large saute pan combing apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until apples release their juices.  Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice in a bowl.  When apples are juicy, slowly stir in cornstarch mixture and whisky allowing apples to cook until the juices have thickened.  Remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to use.
Three Layer Yellow Whisky Cake
4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups raw sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/4 cup whisky
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cut parchment circles to fit three 9-inch cake pans.  Grease cake pans and put parchment circles in the bottom of the pans.  Set aside.
Whisk together first four dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. 

A great tip to get your eggs warm faster, place them in a bowl and cover with warm water.  Change water at least once and your eggs will be ready in no time!
Add eggs one at time, mixing until incorporated then add vanilla and mix again.  After that alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition.  You’ll end up with a super thick cake batter.

Pour cake batter evenly into pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then cool on rack.

Salted Caramel Frosting
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
Using a double boiler, make a slurry with the egg whites and sugar.  Whisk this over medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes, mixture should be thick, white and opaque.  Remove from heat, scrape into mixing bowl and beat for 6 to 8 minutes until you have a shiny white meringue.

Beat in butter and continue to mix for 3 to 4 minutes.  Drizzle in caramel sauce and beat to incorporate.

Assembly

Place the first cake layer on a plate, top with 1/3 third of apples and top that with 1/3 of frosting.  Repeat with remaining two layers.  Once assembled, place in refrigerator until frosting has firmed up, 1 to 2 hours.  When ready, slice and serve.  Store remaining cake, covered in fridge.

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