Saturday, September 4, 2010

The All-Inclusive Cake Post: Caramel Apple Spice Cake

This was the official wedding cake. It's was very moist and very tasty. It's was also pretty easy to make. To assemble it, a layer of whipped cream-cream cheese frosting was spread on each top as a barrier to keep the filling from soaking in. The filling itself was just good ol' fashioned apple butter, made locally with only apples, water, sugar, and spices. It was topped with a caramel glaze instead of a more traditional cream cheese frosting. It was decided that since this is an outdoor wedding (and since the creamy frosting would melt after a while) that a glaze would be best. To decorate, the cake was garnished with whole toasted walnut halves with chopped walnuts as a border.

To create this cake:
1. Prepare whipped cream-cream cheese frosting, then refrigerate.
2. Prepare two 9-inch rounds with parchment paper as instructed in this post.
3. Bake cake.
4. Allow to cool completely before decorating In the meantime you can...
5. Prepare walnuts, then...
6. Decorate

Applesauce Spice Cake:
2 1/4 c. cake flour (or 2 c. all-purpose flour, though I recommend the cake flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. EACH nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
A scant 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) Earth Balance, softened
1/4 c. coconut oil, warmed to liquid, then measured
1 1/2 c. turbinado (raw) sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (or 1 tsp. imitation vanilla)
Egg replacer for 1 egg
1/2 c. coconut milk (leftover from whipped cream cheese frosting, can use other plant milk)
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
3/4 c. applesauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and sea salt. Use a whisk to combine.
3. Add the rice vinegar to the coconut milk, stir, and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream together the Earth Balance, coconut oil, and raw sugar. Beat in the prepared egg replacer. Beat in the vanilla.
5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the applesauce. Add the coconut milk mixture very last, beating in to blend completely.
6. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until the cake springs back and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool completely before decorating.

A note about this whipped cream-cream cheese recipe: it's more cream-like than buttercream frosting-like. It's good for dolloping, so feel free to serve this with fruit cobblers, pies, breakfast cakes, etc. However, if you're looking for a super stiff icing recipe, this isn't it. Also, this was the first time I ever tried vegan cream cheese. I was a little apprehensive, cause I hate pretty much all vegan cheeses, but this stuff is awesome. I will be using it again and again. Actually, to be honest, I was relieved at how good it tasted. Lol. I won't hesitate to make cream cheese frosting recipes with it in the future (or maybe even put it on a bagel!).

Also, the whipped cream cheese recipe calls for the cream layer of the coconut milk in the can. The easiest way to get the cream out is to put the cans in the fridge overnight. The cold helps solidify the cream and it's a lot easier to remove it. Try and get most of the cream out, but you'll want to leave that thin layer on top of the coconut water. This will help keep your coconut milk milk-like and it will ensure that there is no water in your cream (and really, this cake doesn't taste coconutty at all). 

Whipped Cream-Cream Cheese:
Cream from 1 can of coconut milk, about 3/4 cups (ensure you don't get any liquid, just cream)
1/2 (8 oz.) container vegan cream cheese (I used the Tofutti brand), softened
1/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla (or 1/2 tsp. imitation vanilla)
Dash of sea salt

1. With the beaters on low, beat coconut cream until nice and smooth (about a minute). It shouldn't be runny.
2. Add in the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. Beat until smooth.
3. Keep covered in the fridge when not in use. If any yellow liquid separates out, you can pour it off. If it's just a little bit you can mix it back in. It won't affect the taste. It should look like this (sorry for the dark photo):

That's creamy vegan goodness, biatch. 

I've whipped dairy cream before. Let me tell you, it's a process. You got to chill the bowl, chill the beaters, beat forever, and then, if it starts to go soft on your and refuses to make peaks, you gotta chill it all over again. Working with coconut cream is so much easier! 

To assemble the cake:

1. Spread each cake top with a layer of whipped cream-cream cheese. The fat in the cream helps keep the cake from soaking up too much of the filling.


2. Spread the cake with a nice layer of apple butter. You want to use a kind that is pretty thick (or at least drain of any excess juice). If it's too runny it'll mush out the sides of the cake. I made the filling layer about 1/3 of an inch thick. If it's a filling like pudding or buttercream you can use more.

3. Stack the cake by placing the two frosted layers together. You want the bottom of the cake to be the top. This creates a nice smooth cake top that has a good crumb consistency (makes it easier to decorate). At this point I wrap the cake with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. Be sure to leave the parchment paper on for now. I also let it stay stacked on the cake pan because it provides a nice base. Putting it in the fridge helps firm up both the cake and the layer of cream and filling.

4. After hanging out in the fridge all night (and about an hour and a half before being served). It was ready to be glazed. I removed the parchment paper from the top and bottom of the cake (don't forget to do that!) and I placed it on a cardboard cake round (the picture shows a small one, but after snapping the picture I changed my mind and placed it on a larger round. That was a much better idea).

Caramel Glaze:
1/2 c. Earth Balance
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. coconut milk

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat after letting it boil about 30 seconds. Don't let it cook or you'll end up with candy
3. Pour onto the cake slowly, while using a wooden spoon smooth glaze using a circular motion. This will keep the top nice and smooth, the layer of glaze even, and it will cause the glaze to run down the sides of the cake (which is desired).

To make a fancy cake round, cut out a piece of tin foil slightly larger than the round. Using scissors, make cuts in the tin foil that is about 3/4 inch wide. Cut up to about a 1/4 inch of the round. Fold over each section one at a time, pulling tight (but not so tight that it rips). Tape the pieces to the cardboard round.

Here's a close up of the ooey-gooey cakey decadence. To finish decorating the cake I toasted some walnuts at 350 degees for about five minutes. I put all the halves I had on top and I crushed the rest to stick in the caramel that lined the edges. By applying the walnuts to the still warm caramel, you were able to "glue" them on so they didn't fall of the cake. Also, glazes have nice, smooth finishes so they always look pretty with minimal effort! To transport the cake, I bought a cake box in the craft section at WalMart for $2. It made it look more professional and it really made the transport of the cake MUCH easier.

The guests ranted and raved about this cake. They said it was moist and delicious with an excellent flavor. They really liked the caramel glaze (so did I!). It had a slight saltiness to it that contrasted really well with the sweetness of the cake. A lot of people also liked the caramel-coated walnuts (they stole them off the cake board!) and others loved the apple butter filling. I would definitely make this cake again. It was a real winner!
And that's my piece still on the board, I had to snap a picture first!


All inclusive deals said...

Wow the recipe for the cake you posted here is very nice and sounds good to taste. I will try it as soon as i will get some time.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the cake--it looks amazing and it sounds like it was a hit!


Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Thanks! I will make up any excuse to bake something, but layer cakes are definitely my favorite! :)

GreenCaller said...

Oh, my, people reading this, you have no earthly idea how good this cake is! I told my husband that if he'd gotten cold feet and left me standing at the altar I would have married that cake, lol!

We absolutely did NOT shove cake in each others' faces at the reception; that would have seriously offended the Gods of Cake and I would have been cursed with bad karma the rest of my life!

I tried to save a piece, but the cat sat on it... I ate it anyway, lol! (It was in plastic!)