by Charlie Reese

Apple Cake

That is why I love to bake apple cake for special occasions. It keeps things fresh, and fresh is what I’m all about. The great thing about apple cakes is that they are a little bit unexpected. Usually, if you want to surprise people you have to do something pretty exotic. Apples, however, are about as far from exotic as you can get. Yet even putting them in something as simple as a white cake can create a novel effect. They make it moister, richer, and more delicious.

That is why I love to bake apple cake for special occasions. It keeps things fresh, and fresh is what I’m all about. The great thing about apple cakes is that they are a little bit unexpected. Usually, if you want to surprise people you have to do something pretty exotic. Apples, however, are about as far from exotic as you can get. Yet even putting them in something as simple as a white cake can create a novel effect. They make it moister, richer, and more delicious.

One of my favorite wrinkles is apple coffee cake. Coffee cake by itself is a little bit too heavy in my opinion. The taste is too strong. I like coffee as a flavoring, but I feel like it needs a little something else. With apples, the coffee acts as more of a spice than a dominant flavor. I use only a little bit of coffee and let the apples take over most of the taste. Sometimes I even add a little bit of vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom if I am feeling adventurous.

Another of my favorites is apple crumble cake. I can not resist anything with sugar crusted on top, and this type of apple cake delivers abundant crusted sugar. The key is to make the crust perfect. You want just enough brown sugar and you need to have it caramelized to just the right degree. If it is too crunchy, it gets a little bit chewy. If it isn’t caramelized enough, it doesn’t have the nice crispy flavor that makes this cake so good. It definitely takes a little bit of trial and error to get it just right, but it is worth the effort. The results are to die for.

Of course, sometimes a fluffier apple cake is good. I sort of like to blur the distinctions between cakes, pies and tarts. Sometimes having a layer of apple slivers whipped into cream on top of the cake is absolutely delicious. You can even make apple meringue if you’re feeling adventurous.

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