Sorry that I have been away from the food bloggysphere, but I trust that my wonderful new and old readers are still following along here. It's been bit of struggle with food photography lately with the earlier nights and my two little foodie babies have been keeping me busy. Emilio is almost 7 months old and his two bottom teeth have already poked out. Elena didn't have her first teeth until she was 11 months old. I guess her little brother is trying to catch up fast. Too fast if you ask me.
December is usually a popular month of holiday baking of countless sweet treats or cooking up some scrumptious eats. I love baking up some winter cookie favorites - gingerbread cookies, pecan tarts, holiday biscotti, or peppermint bark. Elena had her first pecan tart this past Thanksgiving and like her mommy - she has one big sweet tooth. So with everything that I try to make - I try my best to sneak in extra veggies, or adding a little bit of wheat germ or wheat flour to the recipe to make it healthier. I joined up with Hodgson Mill because they "believe in living a great life and trying to make life better. That starts with making nutritious foods that are of the highest quality, because we think life's better when you take care of yourself and your health." I liked the fact that I can adapt any of my recipes with a healthy twist using nutritious Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour.
This elaborate Gingerbread Apple torte screams Christmas dessert on a plate. It's like a gooey gingerbread apple cake that you can't stop eating. It's absolutely perfect for entertaining, and it's a wonderful dessert to share with your family and friends. Plus, they won't know the difference that they are enjoying something naturally delicious. Make sure you check out Hodgson Mill's 25 Days of GRAIN Holiday Sweepstakes between now and 12/25/13. Here's a $1 off coupon for you to use off any (5) pound bag of Hodgson Mill flour or cornmeal. Be on the lookout for my next blog post where one lucky reader can have the chance to win a great selection of assorted Hodgson Mill $25 value - winner's choice of gluten free products or whole whole wheat. (Sorry US residents only).
Gingerbread Apple Torte
Adapted from Food 52
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Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 3 large Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
- 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons butter & extra for pan
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or white flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed tightly
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch springform pan. If desired, wrap the bottom with aluminum foil to prevent leaking.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and cook until it is lightly browned. Add in apple slices and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar. Cook until apples have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in two eggs. Beat in lemon zest, freshly grated ginger, molasses, rum, and vanilla extract. Don't worry if mixture looks curdled, it's perfectly normal.
- Stir in the flour mixture in small amounts making sure to stir after each addition so batter is thick and smooth. Mix in the buttermilk until mixture is completely combined.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared springform pan. Layer the cooked apple slices on top. Pour the remainder of the batter over the apples in an evenly manner. Place walnut halves over the top of the cake and sprinkle the remainder of the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown or a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Transfer to a cooling rack after 10 minutes, and run a knife along the edges if needed to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Open the ring and remove. Let cake completely cool before removing the bottom base. Transfer to your desired cake platter using a long spatula to remove from base.
- Note: Don't have Apple Pie spice, here's a quick recipe to make your own: Apple Pie spice = Mix together 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/8 teaspoon mace
Review: This is a wonderful holiday-ish dessert to enjoy. It's still very reminiscent of the fall but incorporates the gingerbread-y Christmas flavors as well.
Disclaimer: I received a sample from Hodgson Mill to facilitate this food post, but all opinions remain my own.
Here's my favorite picture of the moment and thankfully (taken on Thanksgiving) all four of us are in it!!