Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"I Do" Love Chocolate Apple Cake!

Holidays often revolve around traditions and traditions often revolve around food.  We always went to Aunt Chrissy's house for Christmas while I was growing up.  Lots of family and lots of food.  That's all the tradition I really need.  (Although I do really like family traditions.)

Phone calls ahead of time assured that Dottie's applesauce meatballs and Chrissy's chocolate apple cake would be waiting for me.  So when I got engaged and we set our wedding date for December 27, and when it came time to pick out our wedding cake, I knew exactly what I wanted - chocolate apple cake!

Since this was a bundt cake recipe, and since I wanted a tiered wedding cake, I was a little nervous about how this would be accomplished.  Armed with my recipe, I visited my wedding cake vendor of choice and was delighted to discover she would be happy to adapt the recipe to a tiered wedding cake.  I was even happier to discover that the cost would be less than one of her own cakes because this recipe uses oil rather than butter and she felt that was a cost savings she wanted to pass on.  Oh happy day - how often does something like that happen?!

My sister gave me the little kissing angels on top of the cake.
I still have them and put them out every Christmas.

Without further ado, cuz I know all you want are the photos and the recipe, here you go.

Chocolate Apple Cake...suitable for Christmas, weddings, or just anytime you need a really yummy cake!

Cream together:
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a separate bowl, sift:
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened, powdered)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice

(I'm lazy.  I don't always sift when I should.  I often do not sift this when I make it.  Although I did sift it this time.)

Mix the sifted (or not) ingredients into the creamed mixture.  Then stir in:

1 cup copped English walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (sometimes I use a little more!)
2 medium size cored Pippin apples (with peels on), diced

(I leave the nuts out because we don't like nuts in cake here at our house.  And if you can't find Pippins, just use any cooking type of apple.  I used Braeburns this time.  I dice them small, but not too tiny.  But I honestly don't think it matters.  It just depends on if you like big chunks of apple in your cake or teeny ones.)

Mix thoroughly.  Pour into a greased tube pan (springform pan with a hole in the middle).  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or 1 hour or until done.  Sometimes this takes a really long time to bake.  Maybe it depends on the moisture content of the apples.  But I've noticed over the years that the cooking time really varies.  Also, you can make it in any type of pan.  I usually make it in a regular cake pan.  You'll just need to adjust the baking time.

Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream together:
4 oz  cream cheese
3 Tablespoons softened butter

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (maybe a little more or a little less, in order to get the consistency you like)

Beat until creamy.  Then stir in 1 teaspoon of orange extract and some grated orange rind.  Or, if you're using a fresh orange, you can just add in fresh squeezed orange juice.

What, you were expecting an actual cake?  Well, I was planning on an actual cake.  But when I went to get the bundt pan out of the baking cupboard, I saw the cupcake tins.  It was easier to get to them!

And I've never made these as cupcakes before, so I wanted to give it a try.

And it also occurred to me I could eat one, have a few to share with my Tuesday-night-at-The-Clyde co-workers, and freeze the rest for a holiday meal, thereby having a holiday dessert already done and the added bonus of removing all temptation for me to eat an entire chocolate apple cake for breakfast some morning this week.

I baked the cupcakes for about 40 minutes, which I think was about 10 minutes too long.  The Aga is very forgiving.  But these were just a tad dry and I would bake them less next time.  Also, they didn't come out of the tins very neatly, as you can see, so I would try cupcake liners next time.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Chicago Metallic.


Bonnie said...

Hi Gwen, I started out baking with HBinFive but have since dropped out. Loved your post. That wedding cake is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I also love that you put the angels out each Christmas. I was married on Dec. 17th and with I had had angels as a cake topper.

Guff said...

Beautiful wedding cake, but the cupcakes are more my style. Less guilt about tearing into them. Great post.

Gwen said...

Thanks, Bonnie. They called that frosting style 'basketweave.' To this day, I still love that style.

I love the holidays and always wanted to get married around Christmas. And we saved big time on flowers since everything was already decorated for Christmas! This year will be our 25th anniversary.

Guff, I know what you mean about less guilt! The only thing I don't like about cupcakes is they take up so much room on platters versus a cake which is all condensed into one piece.

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

Thanks for sharing your family tradition. That cake is beautiful and those cupcakes sound heavenly.