This month's theme is apples and alcohol. This was convenient for me, since I already had an 8-inch whole grain apple cake in the freezer and was trying to come up with an accompaniment. I settled on bourbon sauce.
The cake recipe is based on "Legacy Apple Cake" in King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. I clipped it from the Boston Globe, where it was published on May 31, 2006. The sauce recipe is from Adger House B&B (I found it through Google). My only significant change to both recipes was to substitute Earth Balance sticks for butter. All in all, it was a good dessert. The cake was a little bit crumbly, but otherwise it averted the usual pitfalls of whole grain baking: it was nice and moist and not at all bitter. The bourbon sauce was very intense. It would be a great booster for one of those non-dairy ice creams.
Whole Grain Apple Cake with Bourbon Sauce
Makes 9x13-inch rectangular cake or two 8-inch square or 9-inch round cakes
Butter, margarine, or vegetable oil spray for the pan
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for the pan (the original calls for King Arthur brand traditional or white whole wheat; I used Arrowhead Mills pastry flour because I had it)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter or margarine)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, or 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, preferably unsalted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiled cider or apple juice concentrate
3 apples, peeled, seeded, and chopped (don't ask me what size)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I substituted pecans)
1. Set oven at 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan or 2 smaller pans (see above).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice or apple pie spice; set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine with the brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stopping between each addition to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Beat in vanilla and cider or apple juice.
4. With the mixer set on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until evenly moistened. With a rubber spatula, fold in the apples and nuts.
5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup Bourbon
Melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and Bourbon. Simmer on low heat, stirring often to cook off some of the alcohol, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, spooned over the cake.
I took a picture of the cake, but I can't find the cable for my digital camera, so it'll have to wait. (I'll post the pic whenever I find the cable, which I hope will be soon.) In any case, head over to Spitoon Extra this Friday for all the SHF recipes (which may or may not include this one). I'm sure it'll be great.