Saturday, October 12, 2013

Applesauce Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's mid-October and I have to accept that summer is gone, so I'm embracing Fall with this Applesauce Spice cake.  This is the recipe you've been searching for if you are looking for that perfect spice cake - moist and delicious with just the right combination of spices.  I haven't tried, but I bet you could change it up and add chopped apples or nuts, or substitute pumpkin puree for the applesauce.  These would be a great thing to take with you to the pumpkin patch!  Happy Fall!

Applesauce Spice Cake
Adapted from Today's Letters Blog

Make in a 13x9" pan, or make cupcakes, or 6" or 8" round layers

1 jar (24oz by weight) applesauce (I used homemade)
1/2 cup (4oz, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice

Cake Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare your baking pans by lining cupcake tins with liners, or lightly greasing cake pans with Pam spray and lining the bottom with parchment and lightly spray the parchment.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda,  cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.  Set aside.

3.  In a bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions and scraping the side of the bowl as needed.

4.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the applesauce to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

5.  Pour batter into pans and bake for the times listed below or until a toothpick inserted a the center of the cake comes out clean.
13x9" pan - about 50 minutes
6" or 8" round layers - about 30 minutes
cupcakes - about 20 minutes

6.  Cool completely before icing with your favorite cream cheese icing or maple glaze.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

It's October and we're having a heat wave!  I love it, but my kids are ready for it to be cool and fall-like.  Of course, it doesn't need to be hot to enjoy delicious ice cream.

This is butter pecan ice cream with a twist - the scotch whiskey added to this recipe gives the ice cream a grown-up flavor which is hard to resist.   I think this ice cream would pair well with a fall dessert like spice cake or pumpkin pie.  Hot weather or not, you should try this ice cream!

Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

5 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon scotch whiskey (optional, or use a little less to taste)
Buttered Pecans, coarsely chopped (recipe follows)

Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in brown sugar and salt, then whisk in 1 cup of the cream and the milk.  Warm the mixture and pour the remaining cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In  separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Ladle about half of the warmed sugar mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly.  Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan and heat the mixture while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.  Add the vanilla and scotch and allow to cool.  Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  Freeze the chilled custard in an ice cream machine and during the last few minutes of churning, add the buttered pecans.

Buttered Pecans

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a skillet.  Remove from heat and toss the pecans with the butter and sprinkle with the salt.  Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.  Remove from oven and let cool.


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