Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Apple Cake

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 16 pieces, softened but still cool
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar for pan
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar for pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces)
  • 1  tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound), peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  •  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease standard nonstick 12-cup Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter; dust sides with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, then evenly distribute remaining 4 tablespoons granulated sugar in bottom of pan. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar on top of granulated sugar, breaking up large lumps with fingers.
  • 2. Whisk eggs and yolks in 2-cup measuring cup to combine. Add cream and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • 3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on lowest speed until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time in 1-second intervals, beating until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  • 4. With mixer still running, add 1/2 cup liquid; mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. With mixer still running, add remaining liquid in steady stream (this should take about 30 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 30 seconds.
  • 5. Toss cubed apples with 2 tablespoons light brown sugar and distribute in an even layer over sugar in pan. Add batter in 4 portions, and gently level with offset spatula. (See illustrations below). Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, springs back when pressed with finger, and toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, line wire rack with 12-inch square of foil. Immediately invert cake onto foil-lined rack. Cool at least 1 hour, then slide onto serving plate; cut into slices and serve.

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