Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for this month's Bake Off. The Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake seems to have been a hit!
This month's winner, and the recipient of a $100 Williams-Sonoma gift card is Katherine S.
Congratulations Katherine! It was inspiring to hear how you were able to overcome some obstacles in order to make this cake, and I could sense how much you impressed yourself with the end result.
Coming in at second place and winning an autographed copy of Sugar is Rebecca M.
Congrats Rebecca! Your story of sharing the cake with your mid-term study group made me smile. As a college student, I used baking as my means to relax, so I tended to bake most often when essays were due or it was exam season. Hope the midterm went well!
I'd also like to send shoutouts to Sharon, for including her delicious dinner menu that concluded with the Caramel Apple Cake, to Sandra, who included that great family photo and to Billy, whose youthful enthusiasm was palpable in his note.
CARAMEL APPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Apples make an ideal upside down cake, since they caramelize so nicely and the juice meld with the sugar syrup, making for a shiny glaze when the cake is inverted.
Makes one 9 inch cake
Caramel Apple Layer:
3 apples (Spartan, Mutsu or Cortland), peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed dark brown sugar or demerara sugar
4 eggs at room temperature, separated
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch cake pan and place it on a parchment-lined baking tray.
2. For the caramel apple layer, arrange the apples tightly together in the bottom of the prepare pan. Pour the water and lemon juice into a small saucepot, and then add the sugar and butter. Bring this mixture to a boil without stirring and continue to boil, occasionally brushing the sides of the pot down with water, until it is a rich caramel color, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the caramel over the apples, coating them as much as possible (but don’t worry if they are not completely coated). Set aside while preparing the cake.
3. Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Add the egg yolks, sour cream and vanilla and beat until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and stir this into the butter mixture.
5. In another bowl, whip the 4 egg whites until they hold a soft peak and fold them into the cake batter in 2 additions. Scrape the batter overtop of the apples and spread evenly.
6. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the cake pan and place a serving plate overtop the pan. Flip the cake over and lift the pan off, revealing the caramel apple top.
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!
by Anna Olson