I think my nesting instinct is coming out in a desire to bake and sew. Last week I made some chocolate chip cookies to give to my co-workers, I've been doing a lot of sewing, and tomorrow I plan to work on some knit gifts I've been putting off for far too long. On Saturday I really wanted cake. Lorne and I have pretty similar tastes when it comes to non-dessert food, but our dessert leanings are pretty opposite. He likes pie, I like cake. He likes lighter, fruity things, I like rich, chocolaty things. This cake was me trying to come up with something we'd both want to eat - I don't think being pregnant is enough of a reason for me to justify eating an entire cake by myself.
I turned to a few recipes I'd used before (I made cupcakes with the yellow cake recipe once, and the apples are from the caramel apple toffee cheesecake I made for Valentine's Day earlier this year) and one I hadn't (I really like butterscotch, so I just found a recipe for the frosting that looked good).
partially eaten cake
2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Cream sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture then half of the milk.
Add vanilla. Mix until blended; add remaining flour and milk and beat until smooth. Fill 4 greased and floured layer cake pans(4 1/2 inch diameter) with the batter. Bake at 375° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched near center.
Frost as desired.
Source: About.com Southern US Cuisine section
4 green apples
4 TBSP butter
1/4 cup sugar
Peel and core the apples, then slice them thinly. In a heavy saucepan melt 4 TBSP butter. Stir in sugar and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize. Add the apples and cook them until they are tender. Cool.
Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (I added another apple and a little more butter than her recipe.)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
Melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread.
Though I bake cupcakes fairly often, I don't think I've made a regular cake since I was 13 or something. My lack of cake experience led to some mistakes, but luckily, none of them were fatal.
Mistake 1: The only cake pan I have is a 9" silicone one. Greasing and flouring it didn't go very well, and then when I tried to take the cake out of the pan it was still a little warm and a lot of cake bottom stuck to the silicone thing. Whoops.
Mistake 2: I was planning on putting the apple topping stuff on top of the frosting. Even as I told Lorne of my plan for topping and frosting the cake, I started putting the apples on the unfrosted cake. I blame pregnancy brain. I ended up slathering the frosting on top of the apples, which worked okay, but the cake ended up a little less pretty and a little more lumpy than I'd planned.
Despite the mistakes, it's pretty much the most delicious cake ever, and we both really like it. Hooray!