Oct 13, 2011

IHCC: From the Orchard

This week's I Heart Cooking Clubs theme is "From the Orchard."  Visit IHCC for this celebration of fall fruit.
IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

It's puzzling.  When I see the word "orchard" I think apples.  I've never been even in close proximity to an apple orchard.  The only kind of orchards I've spent any time in are pecan and citrus.  We're still days away from pecans.  By Halloween they'll fall.  The citrus is still plenty green.

So apples it is.  But believe me, I'm not settling. 

Does this look like settling?

Apple Cake w/ Toffee Topping from Tessa Kiros

We loved this cake.  It hints at apple pie, but without all the crust fuss.  It hints at apple cobbler, but looks more refined. 

It hints at me making it again.

Changes to the original recipe:
* Sprinkled ground cinnamon & ground ginger over the apples.  They were asking for it.

* I poked holes in the top of the cake with the fat end of a skewer so some of the insanely good topping could find its way into the cake.

* Finally, I topped the whole deal with chopped pecans.  Just for grins.

Also linked with Food on Friday: Cake @ Carole's Chatter
and Food on Friday: Apples @ Carole's Chatter

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Apple Cake w/ Toffee Topping
Adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros

3 Golden Delicious apples
ground cinnamon for sprinkling
ground ginger for sprinkling
7 Tbsp butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 2/3 c all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c milk

for the topping:
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c cream
about 3 Tbsp chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease and flour a 9 1/2" springform pan.

Peel the apples.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Cut each half into about 8 slices.  Remove any core from the slices.  Lay a ring of slices around the outer edge of the pan.  Fill in the middle in a circular pattern with additional slices.

Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until pale and creamy.  Add the eggs, beating after each one.  Sift and beat in the flour and baking powder.  Beat in the milk until the batter is soft and fluffy.  Spoon over the apples and smooth down the top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  If the top starts to brown before the cake is done, cover with foil.  Remove from the oven when a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Make the topping.

Put the butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture is caramel color.  Add the cream drop by drop at first (the mixture will "grow" and bubble).  Then stir in the rest in a steady stream.  Lower the heat and simmer a couple of minutes.

Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan.  Poke holes over the top of the cake with the wider end of a skewer.  Pour the topping over the cake slowly so that some of it can ooze into the holes.  Scatter chopped pecans over the top of the cake.  Let the cake cool before removing the sides of the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Oh Michelle! That looks amazing!
    I'm a gonna have to try it this Fall.

  2. Oh my gosh! This is the recipe that I wanted to make and never got around to. It looks crazy good. Toffee sauce seals the deal for me:)

  3. Absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt DIVINE! It looks so fantastic. That sauce...holy cow. I'm sorry, I'm speechless.

    And being a "northerner", I didn't even associate orchards with nut trees! Duh. That adds a whole variety of orchards to the mix.

  4. My mouth is watering just looking at it.

  5. Anonymous10/13/2011

    Very tempting to try:) Looks amazing the way you made it:)

  6. Wow, that is incredibly beautiful!
    Funny, it didn't occur to me that orchards were anything but apples, pears and stone fruits.
    Thanks for opening my eyes!

  7. Looks absolutely divine and a beautiful presentation, too! Have a great weekend!

  8. Settling? Uh uh. Heaven? Absolutely.

  9. Yep, I've so gotta make this... yum! Great pictures :)

  10. Funny, to me orchards always mean cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines. Though where we are now living is surrounded by apple orchards.

    This cake looks simply divine, and your adaptations seems like great improvements!

    Sue xo

  11. What a gorgeous cake--that sauce is just amazing. Great pick! ;-)

  12. I made this one as well and yeah, yeah, yeah you win on this one as yours looks so much better...I gave you a full salute on my blog about it all. Great job...next time, I am poking holes and tossing on nuts!!

  13. Michelle, thanks for joining in the cake extravaganza. Cheers


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