Sunday, October 21, 2007

How 'bout dem apples?

My favorite Cupcake Goddess, Chockylit, is having another cupcake round-up this fall! I didn't participate last year because I was admittedly too chicken. I mostly like to stalk her blog from the shadows of my secret foodie world (shhhh). But this time I'm taking a more TA-WANDA! approach to my baking. Watch out. The cupcake round-up theme is "re-invention." Inspiration came immediately. I would re-invent my Grandma Richman's Fresh Apple Bundt Cake. Oh, how I love this cake. At the urging of my sister I made this cake just a few weeks ago for a "girls night" I hosted. While peeling and chopping the apples I could vividly see Grandma, house dress and apron, standing in her small, tidy kitchen doing the exact same thing. As I pulled the bundt cake from the oven memories of her flooded my kitchen as quickly as the delicious baked-apple aroma. My friends, this is the epitome of comfort food. Period. Final.

A note on re-invention: I'm quite certain Grandma would have considered her Fresh Apple Bundt Cake (perfect in every way, every time) in the form of cupcakes as re-invention enough. And that was good enough for me. But to be fair, I brainstormed what else I could "do" to the cupcakes. I thought about stuffing them, but with what? The cake certainly doesn't need anything added because the chunks of baked apple and pecans already add plenty of texture and flavor. It was important the soul of the cake would remain essentially hers, no matter what twist I used in my own version. I decided not to mess with the cake itself, and I'm so glad I didn't. Hence, my re-invention comes with the topping: caramel and apples, because it doesn't get any better than that. How 'bout dem apples? Chewy, thick caramel dipped on a crisp apple wedge was the perfect accompaniment to both the richness of the cake and the sweetness of the icing. I used Grandma's buttercream recipe although I doubled the ingredients and thickened it with more powdered sugar until I reached the consistency I wanted for piping. Sorry, there's no cupcakes left to share. I ate them all.

Fresh Apple Cupcakes
4 cups apple, peeled and diced small
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix apples and sugar in large bowl. Add oil, eggs, nuts, and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Add to wet mixture and stir until combined. Divide batter evenly into 24 cupcake papers.
Bake at 350° for 21-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Buttercream Frosting (I doubled this recipe)

¼ stick butter, softened to room temperature
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar
Dash of salt
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. lemon extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Using a hand mixer combine butter, cream, salt, vanilla, lemon, and almond in a medium sized bowl. Add powdered sugar until you have reached desired consistency.

Caramel Apple Topping
Fresh apple, thinly slices
1 bag wrapped caramels, about 50
Spray apple slices with lemon juice to help keep them from turning brown. Melt the caramels over medium low heat. Dip apple slices into caramel and let stand 5 minutes on parchment paper before assembling cupcakes.


The P*dunc's said...


Jessie said...

G, you have WAY to much talent!

Wildings said...

Once again Gina, you have out done yourself! Holy cow do those look good! You just might have to make those for Bunco one time!

Tuttles said...

Gina, you've done it again... I'm really hungry and really want one!

Lisa P. said...

All I can say is that I am in awe!! Way to go. They are beautiful.

Cole said...

Are your hands clean? The pair in the back row look yummy. Just between you and me theres this sweet cooking site on Yahoo's main page that gives out free recipes, you should totally check it out.
Oh ya don't be letting Brad carry the cupcakes around he can't be trusted with things of this importance.

gina bina said...

Of course my hands are clean? Do they look dirty or something?? Thanks for the Yahoo site suggestion. I'll have to look it up.
Don't worry, Brad will never be in charge of transporting cupcakes again. Not after the last fiasco that many of you witnessed. RIP little cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

Hiee,d cup cakes recipie is simple n cakes luk amazing.:)..
M keen on making these..!! Jst a query....Do we hav to beat oil,eggs in a beater/blender n then add to d apple n sugar mixture or are we supposed to beat all i.e., apple, sugar, oil n eggs along with nuts n vanilla ofcourse.. Pls lemme kno..

Thnks for d gr8 recipie..!!

gina bina said...

You only need to beat the eggs before adding to the mixture. I just use a fork and beat them for about 30 seconds in a small bowl. Everything else can just be added as is.

Anonymous said...

Recipe looks great and super easy...but doesn't baking soda need an acidic ingredient to react with? Did you mean baking powder? Or is an acidic ingredient (buttermilk?) missing? I'd love to make this cake, so please let us know!

gina bina said...

I just check my grandmother's recipe and it does call for baking soda, not powder.

Definitely give this a try! We are making it today in a bunt pan as a whole cake. Delish! Good luck!