Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apple Butter Muscovado Cake

I've been trying to use up things in my pantry.  This is going well, but also not.  I tend to replace at a faster rate than I use (unintentionally).  I finished off two different size containers of chicken broth and a jar of apple butter, but I also bought chickpeas, red lentils, yellow split peas, popcorn kernels, french lentils, and pearl couscous.  So space-wise, I'm not doing too well.  But hey, I'm trying.

I was flipping through Super Natural Cooking and I saw a recipe for Raspberry Curd Swirl Cake.  I glanced at a little box off to the side where Heidi suggested using other curd flavors (curd is also known as fruit butter) for different seasons and I immediately remembered that I had a small jar of apple butter from last summer that needed to be used.  Of course, I didn't need to bring a cake anywhere... but I decided to make it anyway.

This is a HEAVY cake.  It's full of butter and sugar.  Personally, I think the butter could be cut down with little consequence, but I'd have to try it out.  The top was nice and crusty the first day but softened up in the refrigerator.  I replaced half the sugar with muscovado sugar, partly because I just got 10 pounds of it in the mail, but mostly because I love the flavor and thought it would do well in a cake like this.  As I also mentioned, you could do any different type of fruit butter and it would be delicious.

One major problem I had was with the technique.  You're supposed to spread the apple butter in the middle of the cake, putting the second half of the batter on top.  This pretty much ruined my cake structurally - the top part came out of the pan while the bottom part did not.  (Fortunately, I was going for taste over presentation.)  You also swirl some on top of the cake.  What I would recommend in the future is putting ALL the apple butter on top of the cake, a bit at a time, and pushing it downward with a butter knife.  I would drag the knife longways, since you will cut slices crossways.  The bit of apple butter I swirled on top of the cake was enveloped by the batter anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about hiding the fruit butter.

I may try to make this again, but I want to try cutting down the butter!  A version with citrus curd might be next on the list.


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