Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apple Pie Cake

I have been waiting a long time to make this cake.  I am seriously obsessed with the Milk Bar layer cakes, I have made many of them now, even made a few of my own layer cakes that I still need to blog, but the reason I had to wait to make this cake was because it required apple cider and we can only get good apple cider in the Autumn.  Well, Central Market now has our favourite apple cider, so no more waiting!

The original recipe is made as a 6 inch cake, however I have been making all the layer cakes as mini cakes with 2.5 inch entremet rings, I just prefer making them this way, and it means that they end up as little individual layer cakes, and I don't have to attempt slicing a large cake!

There are quite a few steps to these layer cakes, I am used to it now, but in the beginning the recipes looked overwhelming, but broken down they are not difficult just time consuming to make the entire cake.  The liquid cheesecake, apple filling and pie crumbs can all be made a few days in advance, which definitely helps make the cake more manageable.

Barely brown butter cake:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1sp salt

Preheat oven to 350 and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.

combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
Add in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and beat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white and twice the size of the original butter and sugar mixture.

Add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. mix just until combined.  Pour onto the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Apple cider soak:
¼ cup apple cider
1 tsp light brown sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon

Whisk together cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Liquid cheesecake: 
8 ounces cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg

 Preheat the oven to 300.

Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. add the sugar and mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sugar has been completely incorporated. scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Whisk together the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream, then whisk in the egg.

Stream in the egg slurry. paddle for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and loose. scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour cheesecake in a 6 x 6-inch baking pan. bake for 20 minutes.  The cheesecake should be firmer and more set toward the outer boundaries of the baking pan but still be jiggly and loose in the dead center.

Pie crumb:
1 ½ cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 ½ tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until well mixed.

Add the butter and water and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.

Spread the clusters on a parchment  lined sheet pan. Bake for 25 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should be golden brown and still slightly moist to the touch.

Apple pie filling:
1 lemon
2 medium granny smith apples
1 tbsp butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon  ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

Fill a medium bowl halfway with cold water, juice the lemon into it.
 Peel the apples, then halve and quarter them. Put each apple quarter on its side and cut a small slice down the length of the apple to remove the seeds and core. cut each apple quarter lengthwise into thirds and then crosswise into fourths, leaving you with 12 small pieces from every apple quarter. transfer these pieces to the lemon water as you go.

When you’re ready to cook, drain the apples (discard the lemon water) and combine them in a medium pot with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, using a spoon to gently stir the mixture as it heats up and the apples begin to release liquid. reduce the heat and simmer the apples gently for 3 to 5 minutes. be careful not to cook the apples so much that they turn into applesauce.

Pie crumb frosting:
½ recipe pie crumb
½ cup milk
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
¼ cup icing sugar 

Combine the pie crumbs, milk, and salt in a blender, turn the speed to medium-high, and puree until smooth.

Combine the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy and pale yellow.

Add the contents of the blender, paddle until fluffy and pale yellow.

To assemble the cake, put a piece of parchment on the counter, invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment  from the bottom of the cake. use the cake ring to stamp out circles from the cake. 

Layer 1:
Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring.
Put a cake round inside the ring.
Dunk a pastry brush in the apple cider soak and give the layer of cake a good, healthy bath.
Use the back of a spoon to spread some of the liquid cheesecake in an even layer over the cake.
Sprinkle some of the pie crumbs evenly over the liquid cheesecake. use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
Use the back of a spoon to spread some of the apple pie filling as evenly as possible over the crumbs.

Layer 2:
With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top ¼ inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall – high enough to support the height of the finished cake. Set a cake round on top of the frosting, and repeat the process for layer 1.

Layer 3:
Nestle a cake round into the apple pie filling, cover the top of the cake with the pie crumb frosting. Garnish the frosting with the remaining pie crumbs.

Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and filling. the cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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