Apples, apples, and more apples!
It may be a few more days before the First Day of Fall but I think as soon as the temperatures dip at night to that perfect sleeping weather that we've all been craving these last few months then it's time for Fall Baking.
This rich coffee cake is full of chunks of tart apples and iced with a salted brown sugar icing. It's not too sweet--some of us here may be known to have a wedge of it for breakfast--with delicate notes of cinnamon and cloves that's just right for a Summer gently spilling into Fall.
I prefer this cake to be made with Granny Smith apples but any baking apple or combination of baking apples will do. Also, if you aren't fond of cloves (how could you not be!!??) another spice such as nutmeg or ginger would do nicely as well. I've often wanted to experiment and toss in some toasted nuts but my family prefers not to have too many add-ins in baked goods which is why I originally decided to brown the butter to add a slightly nutty taste since I couldn't have the real things. If you use nuts, I'd sure love to hear how it turns out!
The gooey icing is made of brown sugar, cream, and butter and a little goes a long way on this cake. I like to add a sprinkle of sea salt on top because it reminds me of caramels and caramel is much better with a little salt!
Brown Butter Apple Cake
3/4 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
10 ounces sour cream
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 1/2 cups diced apples (4 small)
~Brown Sugar Icing~
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons of flour
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of cream
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 by 13 pan. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, slowly melt the butter over low heat. Once it melts, increase the heat slightly. The butter will begin to bubble and foam. Swirl it every so often until it's starts to brown. Be very careful not to burn it! Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. In another bowl, measure out the brown sugar. Pour the browned butter into the sugar and mix well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Thoroughly mix in the sour cream until there are no white streaks. Slowly stir in flour mixture and then the apples.
4. Spread in a pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and let it cool a little while you make the icing.
5. For icing: In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, flour, butter and cream over low heat. When combined, turn the heat to medium and stir and cook until the icing is very thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread over still warm cake and sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Serve warm or at room temperture.
Try not to torture your dog.