Thursday, August 2, 2012

Apple and Dulce de Leche Cake

I'm taking a short break from my extreme low-carb routine to get in some much missed baking. Although I don't have a very pronounced sweet tooth, I do love baking sweet treats for others. My kids especially love a nice moist piece of cake. The finely chopped apples in this cake help keep it moist, and the swirls of dulce de leche throughout the cake ooze out in a lovely, luscious display of sweetness. The icing is creamy and sweet, and the chopped walnuts over the top add that essential textural contrast that rounds out the cake.

Can you tell that we really really love this cake?


Apple and Dulce de Leche Cake with Dulce de Leche Icing




Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples, chopped very fine 
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche - I usually use Nestle's la Lechera canned dulce de leche
  •  Dulce de leche icing – recipe below 
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until everything is combined, then fold in the chopped apples. 
  4. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Dot the dulce de leche over the batter and then spoon in the remaning batter and snooth the top with a spatula. .Take a butter knife and drag it through the batter to swirl the dulce de leche, and make sure to smooth the top of the batter when you’re finished. 
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.


 Dulce de leche Icing

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 tablespoons dulce de leche 
  • Approximately 4 tablespoons heavy cream 
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat butter and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over medium until the butter starts to melt Add the dulce de leche and stir for about 30 seconds, then remove from heat and scrape into a small bowl. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely smooth. 
  2. Add the vanilla and another tablespoon of heavy cream, mix until smooth, then add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat vigorously with a whisk or a hand mixer until smooth, adding more cream until you have the consistency you like. Drizzle and spread over bars, top with chopped walnuts and serve.


A glimpse of the lovely, moist interior with oozing dulce de leche:

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