Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spice Cake with Caramelized Apples and Scotch Whiskey Buttercream

I decided to make this cake for one of the ladies at work for her birthday. It sounded so tasty when I read the recipe in Paula Dean's Holiday baking magazine. It's a bit of a Frankenstein of her recipes. I think there is 3 different bits of cakes involved.
When I started I was thinking, "Oh, I can whip this up in a couple of minutes and it will be great." Okay, it was was not whipped up in minutes. I believe it ended up being about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish.
I finished it thinking, "This had better be a darn good cake for the amount of effort involved!" Turns out it was! The icing is amazing. It is the smoothest icing I have ever made. EVER. I don't even really like whiskey but I could eat this with a spoon.
I won't.....maybe.....okay.....just once...

Spice Cake

1 1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 large eggs, separated
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
pinch ground cloves
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 3 (9 inch) cake pans with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and spices. Add to butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined after each addition.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
(If you are like I was and need to make this in a bit of hurry then once the cake is out of the pans just pop the wire rack with the cakes on it into the freezer to cool quicker)

Caramelized Apples

1/2 cup butter
7 tart apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples and sugar and cinnamon, cook for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are very tender.
Let cool before using in cake. (Place in fridge to speed process)

And last but certainly not least:

Scotch Whiskey Buttercream

1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg whites
2 cups butter
1/4 cup Scotch whiskey

In the top of a double boiler, whisk together sugar and egg whites until combined. Cook over simmering water until mixture reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer. DO NOT STIR. Immediately pour into the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer (ie: Kitchenaid!). Beat at high speed for 10 minutes. (Really - 10 minutes - I washed the dishes while I waited)
Reduce speed to medium-low. With mixer running, add butter 2 Tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition. Add Scotch whiskey, beating until combined. Keep buttercream at room temp until ready to frost cake.

Okay, now you have all three components to assemble your delicious cake. Trust me, it is worth the effort.

Place one of the cake layers on the plate you will be serving it on.

Frost with layer of the whisky buttercream.

Layer half of the apples on top of icing. Press them down firmly so the next layer won't slide around.

Repeat layers one more time. Place third cake layer on top.

Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. (I had about a cup left over) Decorate however you would like or leave plain.
I drizzled with a bit of caramel ice cream topping and rolled Tootsie rolls into balls to decorate the bottom.

See how pretty the layers look. And they taste even better. I made all of the girls in the office come and smell the cake as well. The combination of those wonderful, fragrant spices and the Scotch whiskey is addicting.
You could, of course, use the entire batch of icing on the cake. I thought it might overwhelm the delicate flavors of the cake. I saved a bit to try on something else. I am thinking on a dark chocolate cake it might be just as addicting.
Any other suggestions as to what I could use Scotch Whisky Buttercream for?

Be sure to visit Hammocktracks for tons of apple recipes in her Apples Galore recipe series.

1 comment:

  1. This looks positively divine. Thanks again for linking up. My next recipe series will be tailgating munchies. Email me if you are interested in participating.