Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Apple a Day: Cream Cheese Apple Cake

One of my most favorite desserts, outside of chocolate, is Teddie’s Apple Cake, a recipe I got from the New York Times many years ago when I was in college. It is an incredible cake, crunchy, chewy on the outside and moist and full of apples and raisins on the inside.  This is not that recipe (will come at a later date) but having baked that cake hundreds of times, I decided it was time to branch out and try something new.  The Cream Cheese Apple Cake from the Grand Central Bakery in Seattle seemed like a good place to start.  This cake is apparently a long time standard at the bakery, and although it will never replace Teddie’s Apple Cake for me, it is a moist, flavorful apple cake that is fairly simple to make.  In my mind, the addition of raisins and some almond extract would make it even better.

Cream Cheese Apple Cake from the Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson

3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 ½ cups (17.5 ounces) granulated sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ lbs. (3-4) tart apples, peeled and diced into ½ inch chunks
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 12 cup bundt pan. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. In a mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very light in color- almost white-and the texture is fluffy, about 8 minutes. Scrape the bowl at least once during the process to make certain the butter is incorporated.

Crack the eggs into a measuring cup and add the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the eggs, letting them fall in one at a time and incorporating each egg before adding the next. Be sure to scrape the bowl a couple of times during the process. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Fold in the apples by hand and then turn the batter into the prepared pan.  I think the addition of raisins here would add to the cake.

Bake 60- 75 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.  The cake is ready when a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Cool completely and dust with a thick layer of confectioner’s sugar. Serves 14-16.
((post by susan))

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