Apple Cake with Pear-Brandy Caramel Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 Granny Smith or Pink Lady apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Pear Brandy-Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon pear brandy or Calvados
- Pinch of salt
- For the Cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Grease a 12-inch
Bundt pan or a 14-inch tube pan.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, soda, salt and cloves together into a large bowl;
- In a mixer bowl, on medium speed cream the brown sugar and butter together
until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, beating until creamy. On low speed, alternately blend in the
dry ingredients and the applesauce.
- Stir in the chopped apple and nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and tap it to settle the batter.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of
the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the sauce: In a small saucepan, cook the
cider over medium heat until it reaches a syrup-like consistency and is reduced
to 1/4 cup. Set aside.
- In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Cook over medium-high
heat, swirling the pan gently, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is
clear; do not let the mixture boil.
- Increase heat to high, cover and boil the syrup without stirring for 2 minutes.
- Uncover the saucepan and continue to boil the syrup until it begins to darken
around the edges. Gently swirl the pan until the syrup turns a deep amber and
just begins to smoke.
- Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon carefully beat in the butter until
- Stir in the cream until smooth. If the sauce becomes lumpy, return
the pan to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in the reduced apple cider, the pear brandy or
Calvados and salt.
- To serve, cut the cake into slices and top with the warm caramel sauce.
Yield: 12 servings