Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Caramel Apple Mini Cakes for King Arthur Flour

(this picture is just for my buddy, Tom)
Hello, everyone! Okay, it has take me a little while to get to this recipe, but I assure you, it is worth the wait! For my review of King Arthur Flour's White Whole Wheat Flour (if you haven't seen my other posts, this is part of my membership in View & Review, with Bloggeraid Changing the Face of Famine - check it out!), I was determined to test recipes across the board. One sweet, one savory, and the litmus test of flours....bread. For my first try, I chose savory (you know, that IS my comfort zone!) and made Spicy Cheddar Muffins. Next, I got brave and baked bread! It turned out really well, too. I found out after the fact that I had used the wrong kind of yeast, which explains why it didn't rise like it should have, so I'm going to be trying that recipe again, just for the sake of making it right. Now, that only leaves "sweet".
After looking around and considering my options, I decided to pick a recipe from King Arthur's site that is not yet rated, so that I would have to start from scratch, so to speak. This recipe for Caramel Apple Mini Cakes just practically called my name. I mean, caramel is an obvious draw, but its getting to be that time of year....the time when the orchards start filling up, and cider begins arriving in stores. Apples.....Mmmmm!
Keep in mind that I picked this recipe based on the fact that it uses the whole wheat flour. Now, I have two things to say about that:
1. You would never in a million years guess that these are whole wheat.
2. I really don't think that being made of whole wheat flour even remotely makes up for all the sugar and butter that is in them.
That being said...I so don't care. These little babies are fantastic. I have a number of cook's notes related to the recipe that I will post at the end.....make sure you read them if you plan to make this!!! Now, let's get on to the goods. Another fabulous recipe from King Arthur WHOLE WHEAT Flour!Caramel Apple Mini-Cakes
2 cups (8 ounces) King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, traditional or white whole wheat
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces )brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) boiled cider or frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup (4 ounces) applesauce
3 cups peeled, chopped apples (about 3 apples, 3/4 pound before peeling)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) walnuts, chopped

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly (3 1/4 ounces) packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons (1 3/8 ounces) corn syrup
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of a Pop-Up Pan, or 12 muffin cups.
(don't you just love my pretty new muffin pan?)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices; set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, then mix in the dry ingredients, vanilla, boiled cider and applesauce, stirring until evenly moistened. Fold in the apples and walnuts.Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan; cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting: Melt the butter, stir in the salt, brown sugar, and corn syrup and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. Add the milk, bring to a rolling boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. Spread on the cakes while the frosting is still warm.
Yield: 12 servings.

Cook's notes:
1. the recipe says to use a 12 cup muffin pan. I did that, and still had batter to spare, so I made a little mini loaf also.
2. make sure you only fill the cups about 2/3 full or they will pop-over like mine did. Still taste great - just not so pretty.3. These took WAY longer to bake than the recipe states.
4. Don't start working on the frosting until the cakes are out of the oven. It needs to be put on while the frosting itself is still warm, but it won't be if you do like I did and start the frosting right after you put the cakes in the oven.
5. I didn't add quite all of the powdered sugar to my frosting. I really wanted it to be more pourable.
6. That worked against me when I tried serving these the next day. The frosting had softened the cakes and made them quite messy. Again, still tasted great, not so pretty.
7. I didn't add the walnuts....just not a big fan of nuts in bakes goods. Sorry!


Tom W. said...

You are the devil.

giz said...

First of all I think you need a constant supply of King Arthur Flour just so you can keep buying these cute containers.
What a beautiful recipe - the muffins look absolutely inviting. Thank you also for the tips - makes my trial and error so much easier.

Kim said...

Oh my goodness!!I bet those were delicious : ) I keep thinking about apple desserts since it is starting to cool off a bit. I'm dreaming of days at the pumpkin patch, fresh apple cider...it's my favorite time of year. I would love to try this dessert! I like how they puffed up over the muffin pan, they look great turned upside down!!

ARLENE said...

OMG, I think I just used up some WW points just looking at these beauties. Yum and yum! Maybe in a few weeks I'll try a lightened version.

Ruth Daniels said...

They do look positively fantastic. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

Aparna said...

Love these cupcakes (I like apple but not caramel, and my daughter loves both) and your muffin pan too.