(This might not look like much here, but you should know that this is a picture of the cake after having been served up at a church party, then brought home in a cup, and rearranged the next day and photographed by me with all my non-skills. Frankly, I think it's doing pretty well for itself.)
Several weeks ago I attended a baby shower. Say what you will about baby showers and the cake that inhabits them, this shower had me laughing most of the time and over-the-baby-moon about the apple cake my friend Diana made. I mean, people, it was like true religion. Only less righteous. It was one of those things where you think you have a pretty darn good recipe (and I do), but then you have this and it's like discovering art or love. Oh love. Apples, sugar, spice, and everything nice sitting in a puddle of more sugar, spice, and BUTTER.
The shower was at 3:00 in the afternoon, but that didn't stop me from having--oh maybe an extra piece or two--even when my dinner and any shred of non-pig dignity I might still have was at stake. What can I say? The hosts are lucky they didn't find me after everyone had left, hiding under the table and consuming the rest. They're also lucky I didn't walk off with the leftover pan of the stuff (if only I'd brought a larger purse). It was just incredible--beyond incredible.
It was, in fact, so incredible that I was a little depressed. All these years, I'd been perfectly happy with my own humble apple cake, but now, now, I was ready to toss that aside. Seriously, it kind of bummed me out. The good news is that when I compared Diana's recipe to mine, they were surprisingly similar. Hers was a bit spicier and used butter in place of oil, which totally worked. And it was draped in the sauce of, well, frankly, the sauce of evil, but I love it too much to call it that--so let's go with 'sauce of awe,' which also--handily--contains assonance. I ask you, can assonance be evil, even if it does contain butter, sugar, nutmeg, and make you lick it off your plate, then spoon more on, and lick that off, and then repeat this process until you are veritably at death's door? I think not. Assonance is righteous. Ask your English teacher.
Diana's Apple Cake of Awesomeness (with Sauce of Beyond Awesomeness)
Makes 9x13 in pan (though for all that is righteous about your hips, you should make this for a party of halve it)
Cost: Who really cares? Make it.
4 C apples, peeled and diced
2 C sugar
1/2 C butter (1 stick), softened or even a bit melted for easier mixing
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix sugar and butter. Add eggs. Add apples.
Combine dry ingredients. Add them to your wet ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
Bake in lightly greased 9x13 inch pan for 35-40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean or with a few tender crumbs clinging on.
For Sauce of
1/2 C butter (1 stick)
1 C sugar
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Melt butter and sugar in a sauce pan. Add milk. Stir until boiling. Take off heat. Add vanilla and a dash of nutmeg.
To serve: Cut cake into slices. Pour sauce over each slice and serve delicately to guests. After everyone leaves, be sure to check under the table and make sure I'm not there pretending to look for an earring in an empty pan of cake. Oh, gee, there it is; I'll just be leaving now with my very large purse.
Note: This can be served warm (Diana says this is best and I believe her) or at room temperature (still amazing). She even made this again the next week (I think she's secretly trying to kill me; that's okay. Note to Diana: I'm still alive; you'd better bring more apple cake over) for a church function and I took several pieces home for my "family." These pieces had already been dished up and draped in sauce and my "family" ate them the next day and my "family" said that it was just as good as ever. I forgot to ask them how they knew, but that's okay.
Linked to Sweets for a Saturday and Fusion Fridays