Sunday, October 4, 2015

PB Apple Spice Cake

Apples are in great supply come autumn. I'll gladly eat apples any time of the year, but I also love finding and creating recipes with apples!

Today, I thought I'd share a cake recipe that is perfect for fall or any time you want a delicious treat!

A month or so ago, I had some apples that needed to be used up, so I went looking for an apple cake recipe. Of course, a Google search showed that there are an endless number of variations to choose from! I read through at least 30 recipes before narrowing it down to an apple spice cake.

I found a recipe on All Recipes for an Apple Spice Cake that intrigued me. The directions indicated that you were to combine the baking soda with warm water and add to liquid ingredients rather than the traditional method of adding the baking soda to the dry ingredients. I read through many of the comments and also did some research into the reasoning for this, but was unable to determine a definitive answer. None of my baker friends had ever heard of this method either.

Well, the first time I made the cake, I followed that step - as well as making some other ingredient changes and the cake was DELISH! However, I also wanted to see if it really mattered that you add the baking soda with the water to the liquids. The second time I made the cake, I added the baking soda in the traditional way and found no difference in the end result. Therefore, I have eliminated the extra step for this recipe.

So, what else did I do differently?
- Rather than using all white flour, I did a 50/50 mix of all purpose and whole wheat flour.
- A bit of nutmeg was added to the spice combination.
- The all white sugar was replaced by a 50/50 mix of white and golden (light brown) sugars
- I switched out most of the margarine in favour of a combination of peanut butter and a just bit of margarine.
- Instead of the water that went with the baking soda in the original recipe, I chose to add some milk - and upped the quantity a bit to make the batter a bit less stiff and more moist in the finished cake.
- Raisins were omitted and roasted peanuts were added.
- Naturally, I added chocolate chips!
- I also chose to omit sprinkling icing sugar on the finished cake. The cake is sweet enough without any type of garnish or frosting.

In the end, I turned a basic Apple Spice Cake into a Peanut Butter, Apple Spice Cake WITH Chocolate Chips! After all, apples, peanut butter and chocolate make an amazing taste combination that is REALLY hard to resist!!

My taste testers loved this and said I could make this for them ANYTIME!!

PB Apple Spice Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon      
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg      
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt    
3 medium or 2 large apples - peeled, cored and chopped (about 2 - 2 1/4 cups)    
1/2 cup chopped, roasted peanuts
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup block margarine, softened to room temp
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter     
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar   
4 large eggs, at room temp         
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a Bundt pan with a non stick spray such as Pam. Set aside..

Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.

Peel, core and chop the apples. You should have between 2 and 2 1/4 cups when finished.

Combine the peanuts, chocolate chips and chopped apple. Set aside.
Cream together margarine, peanut butter and sugars. Mix in eggs, milk and vanilla.

Stir in all but about 2 Tablespoons of the flour mixture into the margarine/sugars/eggs mixture, mixing to combine thoroughly. Batter will be quite thick.
Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons flour mixture to the apples/peanuts/chips mixture and stir just to coat. (This will help prevent clumping of these ingredients.) Add the mixture to the batter and stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick test comes out clean (With my oven it took about 65 minutes). Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes then carefully turn the cake onto plate. Continue to cool the cake (on the plate) on a wire rack till cooled.
Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired but it really isn't needed.



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