1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large, crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a deep 9" cake pan. In a sauce pan melt 4 tbls of butter and the brown sugar. Cook until the mixture bubbles, then take it off the heat. Add the cinnamon and a pinch of salt, then stir. Pour into the bottom of the prepared pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and a 1/4 tsp of salt and set aside. Cream together the remaining butter and the granulated sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing till combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Drop the batter by the spoonful into the prepared pan. Don't worry if it's uneven, it will work itself out. Bake until golden and the cake springs bake when lightly touched, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes then flip the pan onto a plate. Let it sit for a minute then remove the pan. Serve warm or room temp.
So this recipe is adapted from... er... well, I have to give proper credit. It's just how I roll. But I have a feeling this is going to open up a can of worms that I'm going to prefer I didn't. It's from Rachel Ray. I don't like Rachel Ray. If you do, that's fine, I'm not trying to get her taken off the air or anything. I'm just not a fan. For one, when she smiles she looks like Jack Nicholson's Joker in the first Batman movie. And I loved that movie, but I don't want the person preparing my food to remind me of a psychotic mass murderer. Call me nuts. And for the rest... well, she just bugs me. I'm sure she's a wonderful person in real life, who loves her family, is kind to animals and such, but I just don't want to watch her do stuff. She rubs me the wrong way. I'm not exactly sure why, I think it might be all the giggling. But this cake almost makes me a fan. Of her recipes, if not the rest. It's fantastic. And I didn't even do all the fancy pants crap she did with it, like use cardamom and hazelnuts. I'm sure they would have been lovely in it, but I didn't have them. And don't let my pictures turn you off either, my cake turned out fairly ugly, but it tasted wicked, wicked good. I'm going to be doing another version soon and I know what to fix. And if it turns out ugly again, I'll name it "Ugly Cake" and if people don't want to eat it, well, that's more for me. So, let's do this thing.
First off, I cut the recipe in half. I got a small bundt pan for Christmas that I've been dying to use and I thought this would be a great thing for it. Turns out it might not have been. But the final verdict won't be given till I try it again. Which will be soon, I promise. And it will have raspberries. But that's neither here nor there. So, first we make the caramel. Butter and brown sugar in a pot. Gotta love a recipe that starts off like that. Melt and mix. Add cinnamon and a pinch of salt. More stirring. Next time I make this I think I might simmer it a bit more to help the sugar dissolve. I like a smoother topping, this was a little grainy. But still delicious. Then I creamed the butter and granulated sugar. Added eggs, and mixed. And vanilla. More mixing. Now flour mixture. The recipe says alternate the flour and buttermilk, but since I cut the recipe in half I didn't bother. It worked out just fine. Now, c'mon. Even the batter looks good. Look at that! Don't you just want a spoonful? Next I poured the caramel into the bundt pan and added the sliced apples. This was why I wanted to use the bundt pan, I thought this would be a neat effect. It didn't really work out, as you saw, but I have high hopes for next time. Next time I'm not cutting the recipe in half. Anyway, I spooned the batter in. See how the apples are still kind of sticking out? That's why I want to not halve the recipe. I tossed it into the oven and pulled it out about 20 minutes later. Being in a bundt pan (and halved) cut down the cooking time. But see how the apples are still sticking out and the caramel bubbled up around the edges? That's what I'm hoping to fix. Next time. But this time, it was just flip, sit and remove the pan. Voila! Ugly cake. But looks can be deceiving and this is a case in point. Moist, rich and spectacular. This was a great tasting cake. Frankly, it didn't last the night. Good thing it was a half recipe...