First off, I picked out the nice, big red ones and put them in bowls for us to eat, plus shared them out with neighbours as well. Then I picked out the just ripening ones, peeled and cored them, then chopped them into pieces and sugar froze them for pies and crumbles.
I then put little not-so-red ones into two big cardboard boxes, layering well with newspapers, and cellared them, so we have fresh apples through winter. I made applesauce with about 10 kilos of apples (a HUGE amount of applesauce). And I still have one more large bagful to sort through... yes, that's a lot of apples! I've been using them up little by little, making cakes and cookies, and as some ripen up, we've been eating them too.
So I was extremely pleased when Chele chose apples as the special ingredient for We Should Cocoa this month. Not least because I had sent out a desperate appeal to grandmas (that's Aditi's grandma, not mine) and grandpas for apple recipes. Both of them came up trumps with several gorgeous looking recipes, including this one. I love the fact that this recipe is from the booklet 'Magic Recipes for the Electric Blender' and dated 1952. A true classic, indeed!
The applesauce in this recipe was made by me, using this recipe from Canadian Living. I modified it slightly, as I added some sugar (the apples were a bit on the tart side) and instead of using powdered cinnamon, I chucked in a few cinnamon sticks which I then removed once the sauce was made. I also did not puree the sauce as I wanted it chunky. I canned it using the traditional boiling water method.
I made a few modifications to the recipe, and instead of the coffee icing suggested by Grandma, I used a coffee glaze, which was a lighter sauce, and added a delicate pudding-like aspect to the cake. The cake itself was moist and dense, almost like a sticky toffee pudding. As my applesauce was chunky, there were little pieces of apple scattered through the cake, and the slight tart flavour was just delicious, adding a real contrast to the sweet stickiness of the rest of the cake. The cocoa added the chocolate flavour, but unlike my expectations, it did not overhwhelm the cake, just enhancing the fragrance and flavour with a touch of bitterness. All in all, this cake was a real success and this is a keeper of a recipe for sure. I am looking forward to the rest of the apples already!
On a side note, has any of you been utterly confused by the North American coffee cake? Most don't have coffee in them, and are actually cakes that are served with morning or afternoon coffee. Who knew? As it turned out, I was making a recipe for sour cherry coffee cake. I kept thinking that they must have missed out the coffee in the recipe, and so I added a slug of coffee to the recipe when making the cake. Not my greatest moment, I'll admit, hehe :-)
Adapted from Magic Recipes for the Electric Blender, 1952, 1956
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ cup (375 ml) applesauce
½ cup shortening (or softened butter)
2 tbsp strong espresso coffee
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp water
1 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
Place the applesauce, shortening or butter and the eggs in blender container (or use hand blender) and blend until smooth.
Pour over sifted dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, using a wooden spoon.
Pour into greased and floured (or wax paper lined) 9”x13” pan and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes.
To make the coffee glaze, heat together the butter and water. Add this hot mixture to the icing sugar, along with the espresso. Whisk to a smooth sauce, and pour over the still warm cake.
Note: I took a small portion of the cake batter and poured it into mini bundt moulds for the pictures. The rest of the cake was baked in its tin.
This recipe is linked to Ren's fabulous blogging event, Simple and in Season.