Monday, July 26, 2010

Foodie Fights Battle 12 - Beer and Apples - Apple Butter Beer Cake with Homemade Apple Butter

You would think that when the two ingredients you have to work with are apples and beer your imagination would run wild and you would come up with something stellar.  Yea, didn't happen.  I was stumped for days before I decided to just stick to what I know and see what I could do.  I love baking breads and cakes so this was pretty much my go to.  The flavor profiles in this cake are reminiscent of Autumn and Christmas time.  The smell of nutmeg and cloves smacks you in the face and it fills your house with pure awesomeness while it's baking.   The best part though?  There's a good bit of Newcastle in it.  Mmmmmm Newcastle. 

I originally wanted to do a honey glaze to do on top of this cake, but I thought what would really compliment it is apple butter.  Never had apple butter?  It's basically very thick apple sauce.  It's also very delicious and reminds me of home. I remember growing up eating apple butter and cottage cheese, and I still hit that when I go home.  Can't be Amish without your apple butter.  The Amish might say otherwise, but I say it's true damn it.  Good thing they don't use computers, they can't argue with me.

Here's how it's done.

This is not traditionally made apple butter.  I winged this using common sense and knowing what it should look like in the end.  I'd say I did just fine.

Core and slice up 6 Granny Smith apples.  Leave the skin on and throw the cores in the pot.  The skin and cores hold all the pectin and that is very important in achieving the consistency you're looking for.  You could use store bought pectin but honestly why bother.  Add to this a cup of water and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer it for 25 minutes.  Remove the cores and then put the mixture, water included, into a blender.  It will look like this:

Yay applesauce!  Add in your sugars and spices at this point and it will look like this:

Mmm..not so pretty.  Don't knock it though, it can't help it.  At this point you want to bring this to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil it for two minutes.  It is very important that you don't stop stirring.  The sugars will caramelize and burn which is no bueno.  After two minutes take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.  Once it's cool stick it in the fridge and you're good to go.  Nice thick apple butter.

Cake!  I love cake.

Cream together your butter and sugar.  Add in two eggs, mixing after each one.  Add in your apple butter, orange juice, honey and grated apple and mix it good.  You'll have a nice caramel colored batter at this point.  Sift together all of your dry ingredients.  Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the beer. 

The beer!  Don't forget to drink the rest of the can while you're doing this.  It's a very important step not to be skipped.

  Butter and flour an 8x4 loaf pan and bake for one hour.

This cake bakes into a lovely dark color with a nice crunchy top.

It's super moist and airy, while at the same time being slightly dense.  It cuts very well.

Top it off with a nice slab of apple butter and you have yourself a good time.  Just don't be like me and eat so much that you sugar coma.

Apple Butter

6 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

Combine apples, cores and water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes.
Remove cores, then blend apples and water until pureed. 
Put apple puree back in pot and add all sugars and spices. 
Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly, and boil while stirring for two minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.

Apple Butter Cake with Beer and Honey

1/4 Cup Butter, room temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Apple Butter
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Cups Flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt (or use self rising)
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Clove
1 Cup Beer of choice 
1 Apple, peeled and grated

Preheat oven to 325F/165C
Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add apple butter, orange juice, honey and grated apple. Mix well
Sift together dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients, alternating evenly with the beer.

Grease and flour a 8x4 loaf pan and cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour.  Cool.
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Isabelle said...

Looks great! Funny how three of us ended up making different beer-based cakes... yours looks amazing, and the idea of making apple butter is genius. Good luck!

Jenna Ravnestad said...

Thanks Isabelle! I was drooling over your cake, it looks delicious!! Good luck!

Matthew Kadey MSc., RD said...

Love the apple butter. You're going to give my chocolate beer cakes a good run for their money.

Jenna Ravnestad said...

I thought the same thing about yours, chocolate and beer in an unbeatable combination in my book :P Good luck!!

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