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Cinnamon Apple Layered Cake – Best Fast Healthy Thanksgiving Food Idea On A Budget

  1. Preheat the oven to 347Β°F.
  2. Line three 6-inch sandwich pans with oil spray and wax paper.
  3. Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in an electric mixer and, using the paddle, beat at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl or pitcher and slowly pour into the mixer, while beating at medium speed. If the mixture starts to curdle, add 1 Tablespoon of flour to bring it back together.
  5. Sift the flour, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and fold into the batter until just combined.
  6. Fold in the apple, hazelnuts, and lemon zest, transfer the batter to the lined pans, and gently spread it out toward the edges with a step palette knife. The batter should be higher around the edges than in the middle, to ensure that the cake bakes evenly and that the height is level.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The sponges are cooked when they spring back to the touch and the sides are starting to come away from the edges of the pans. To double-check, you could insert a clean knife into the middle of the sponge; if it is cooked, the knife will come out clean.
  8. While the sponges are in the oven, make the sugar syrup following the instructions (see below), then add the vanilla extract to taste.
  9. When the sponges are baked, remove from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. Brush the tops of the sponges with vanilla syrup (setting aside some for the assembling stage and storing it in the refrigerator overnight).
  10. Once just warm, run a knife all the way around the sides of the pans, remove the sponges, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. When the sponges are cool, wrap them in plastic wrap and let them rest overnight at room temperature. This will ensure that all the moisture is sealed and that the sponges are a good firm texture for trimming and layering.

To make the caramel frosting:

  1. Make a cream-cheese frosting following the instructions on (see below), then gently fold in the dulce de leche.

To make the dipping caramel:

  1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over moderate heat, stirring lightly with a rubber spatula, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Stir in the vinegar, syrup, and butter, then bring to a boil, stirring continuously until the caramel reaches 280Β°F.
  3. Immediately dip the apples in the caramel and let harden on a lightly oiled tray or wax paper. (Steps 1 to 4, opposite.)
  4. Dip the tips of the bay leaf stalks in the caramel and stick them to the tops of the apples.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Trim the three sponge layers and soak the tops with vanilla syrup, as shown on pages 150 to 151.
  2. Put the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe a ring of large dots around the outside of the bottom layer, then pipe a swirl in the center and place the second sponge layer on top. Repeat the piping on the next layer, then put the last sponge in place. (Steps 5 to 6.)

To decorate:

  1. Repeat the piped pattern on the top of the cake and, using a palette knife, drag each dot toward the middle. (Steps 7 to 9.)
  2. Place 3 mini toffee apples in the center.
  3. This cake has a shelf life of up to 3 days if stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

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