Apple Cake with Sage Caramel #TheCakeSliceBakers
This has been an eventful October--on the 8th we welcomed baby #4. He's healthy and I'm healthy, and I'm so thankful for the goodness of God.
But I'm also in the midst of that weird time warp that happens when you bring a baby home. Days and nights run together and time becomes a very abstract concept.
I had planned on making this Apple Cake with Sage Caramel like a month ago. There is a local orchard where the kids and I have picked apples and baked pies, apple butter, and this Apple Sharlotka. We were set to go in September, but there was an unseasonably warm spell that caused all the apples to fall off the trees and rot.
All this to say that I had planned to make this cake way before last night, 1.5 weeks after I had a baby.
The cookbook that the Cake Slice Bakers have been working through this year is filled with recipes that come together easily. I've had success with all the cakes that I have tried from it over the past months, so I felt like I could bake this one last night even though I'm running on sleep fumes.
Which is actually pretty high praise for this cookbook. If Benjamina Ebuehi would like, I can write a blurb for the back cover:
This is a great dessert for October. The cake itself is tender, not overly sweet, studded with fresh apples and lightly spiced. It is topped with crisped apple slices, a caramelly cream cheese frosting, and a caramel infused with fresh sage. And it would have had walnuts on top if I'd have had walnuts.
My brain is mush, and I couldn't find my 8x8 pan. So I washed out a disposable pan that a sweet friend brought brownies in and went with that.
I've mentioned before that I like trying unexpected herbal flavors in desserts. It can take a pretty basic applesauce snack cake and turn it into something fancy schmansy. The sage was not overwhelming, but added a sophisticated note. My six year old boy said the caramel was his favorite part, and that the cake could be improved by putting more caramel on the sides. I liked the caramel too, but think the cake could be made better by adding a little salt to the batter.
Caramel is notoriously finicky to make, and I had some trouble with it. When I added the cream, a large amount of the sugar turned to a big rock in the middle that I couldn't get to incorporate. So I just poured the usable parts into a cup and went with it.
Not perfect, but good enough.
Also, I would recommend mashing the apples for the batter fairly thoroughly. I left a lot of big chunks, and they sank to the bottom. But that's just being picky.
So give this Apple Cake with Sage Caramel a try! It is easy enough that you can make it with a newborn;)
Apple Cake with Sage Caramel
from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi
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