Tuesday, October 04, 2011

TWD—Apple Nut Muffin Cake

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I am lucky enough to get to pick the Tuesdays With Dorie recipe for our group again!  We really are coming down the homestretch with finishing all the recipes in Dorie’s book, Baking From My Home to Yours!  While going through the recipes left to choose from, I had a hard time deciding.  I was torn between a butternut squash pie, brownies or this cake, which obviously I chose the cake.  I decided on a  quick, easy fall recipe.

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From the book:

This is a recipe that gives the lie to the proverb “Haste makes waste.”  I had measured out all the ingredients for apple nut muffins when my brunch guests arrived, but I hadn’t prepped the muffin pan.  I grabbed a nonstick silicone baking pan, scraped the batter into it and hurriedly slid the pan into the oven.  When I pulled it out, I had a great-looking cake, appealingly rough and rustic and homey, and packed with all the goodness of my old-time muffins—oatmeal, raisins, nuts and, for full, true apple flavor, diced apple and apple cider.

Serving: Like muffins, this cake can be served warm or at room temperature, just cut it into squares and stack the squares on a plate or in a napkin-lined basket.  It has enough flavor and more than enough texture to be eaten plain, but like muffins, it’s good with butter, jam, cottage cheese or even thick plain yogurt.

Storing: The cake is best eaten the day it is made, but it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; warm in a 350 degree F oven before serving.

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup apple cider or juice (or another 1/2 cup milk)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1  3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/3 cup moist, plump raisins

Getting ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Use an 8-inch square silicone pan, or butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, and tap out the excess.  Put the pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the milk, cider, egg, vanilla and almond extracts and butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt to combine thoroughly.  Toss in the brown sugar, making sure there aren’t any lumps by running it through your fingers, then add the oats and whisk the dry ingredients a few more times to mix.  Switch to a large rubber spatula and stir in the liquid ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened—as with muffins, less mixing is better than more.  Gently stir in the apple, nuts and raisins, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for a couple of minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding the cake; invert and cool until warm, or to room temperature.

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I made the cake twice.  The first time I made it exactly as the recipe is written except I didn’t add the raisins.  I used apple cider.

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I found it hard to photograph a piece of the cake. 

TWD--Apple Nut Muffin Cake 9-25-11 I liked the first cake for how moist it was and it really was okay, but I didn’t like the almond extract in it for some reason.  I usually really like almond extract in things we’ve made with it. 

The second time I made it, I decided to make it with a few more healthy ingredients.  I used skim milk (was out of apple cider).  I also used Bestlife buttery baking sticks for the butter and I used whole wheat pastry flour.  I left out the almond extract and I added half a teaspoon more cinnamon.  I liked the flavor of this one better, but the cake was rather dry and crumbly.  I suppose it didn’t have enough of that good fat I took out of it. ;)  I actually think this would make better muffins, as was intended when Dorie first made them. 

Thanks to all the TWDers who baked along with me this week.  I’m happy to have been able to pick a recipe again and it will be fun to see everyone else’s cakes.   Check out the links here to other TWD blogs.

16 comments:

jillbert said...

Thanks for the pick! This turned out great for me. I baked it as muffins, and they were moist and tasty. Now that you mention it, I didn't notice the almond extract.

Maybe some yogurt in place of some of the butter would lighten it while keeping it moist. I do that a lot, though didn't this time.

Peggy said...

This was a great pick. Thank you. We really enjoyed it. I had to leave out the oatmeal since I am allergic to that, but it worked anyway. We thought it was very moist and good. Yours looks delicious.

Melissa said...

I made them with skim milk, but used applesauce in place of the apple cider. Worked fine, they were nice and moist (the applesauce probably worked well as both a fat replacer and as an apple replacer).

Tia said...

thanks for the great pick!!!

Flourchild said...

Thank you Katrina for the excellent pick! I love this recipe! Your cake looks great and way to go by using healthy ingredients! I went for some buttermilk in place of the cider, Mine was far from healthy!! I love your blog and really enjoy your sweet friendship! It's been so nice getting to know you better!

jeannette said...

ah-may-zinggg cake. the texture of this was better than any 'muffin' i've ever had. but then again, i can't seem to churn out soft tender muffins LOL. so i'll be trying this in a muffin pan to see if the texture changes.

it worked great for me and all my mother-in-law's co-workers are thanking me for the delicious extra pounds ;) so in turn, i'm thanking you :)

PheMom said...

I really liked this one too! You brought me back from my hiatus :) Your cake looks beautiful!

Valerie said...

I'm sorry that I missed this one, your cake looks amazing! I can't wait to try it. :-)

Cakelaw said...

Your cake looks great - thanks for choosing it. Many TWDers were expecting you to add chocolate chips - you fooled them by keeping it straight down the line.

Kayte said...

Great choice...yours looks really wonderful. Thanks for the pick, we loved it and will make it often and each time I will think: "This is the time Katrina opted NOT to pick chocolate anything!" ;-)

Tracey said...

Thanks for hosting Katrina - it was a great pick! I did turn the recipe into muffins and thought they were terrific, but I left all the fat in :)

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I made some minis and a bigger cake, and altered a few ingredients. This was very popular at our house for breakfast with - yup more fat - butter! Yours look delicious and it was a great pick.

Beth said...

The cake sounds great, and thanks for the advice about the almond extract. I'll be sure to leave it out if I make this recipe. (I do like apple cake, so there's a good chance that I will!)

TeaLady said...

This was an excellent pick for this time of the year, even tho it didn't have chocolate. I cannot believe you didn't sneak some in just for fun.

Cookie Baskets said...

These look really good! Can't wait to try them.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

such a great recipe to welcome fall and apple season! thanks for the pick.