Apple Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Cinnamon Whiskey Caramel
The holiday season is upon us, in full force. Now’s the time of year I like to bust out the fancy mixer I got for Christmas a while ago, and admit I typically only use during the holidays. I really do need to change that, but I digress. I love to use that mixer to make desserts, particularly cake. I’ve got a serious sweet tooth, and anything that is soft, fluffy, and covered in sprinkles, make me happy. That’s also what I love about this time of year. It’s the perfect excuse to try out those indulgent recipes, before the New Year resolutions come into effect. It’s still fall, and the hubby is not a fan of pumpkin, so what better to kick off holiday baking, than sweet, juicy, apples.
Now, I have a confession. I suck at baking pies. Actually more like pie crusts. They’re either too soggy, or overly “browned”. It’s a work in progress for me, and one I’m sure I’ll be working on for a while. Now cakes on the other hand, I’ve got a pretty good hang of. So this Thanksgiving, instead of the typical apple pie, I went a little out of the box (pun intended), and made a Sour Cream Apple Cake, with Goat Cheese Frosting, and a Cinnamon Whiskey Caramel Drizzle. Is your mouth watering yet?!
I have a feeling this cake will become a new holiday staple in our family, and will be a comforting blend of both old, and new memories. I love food that has a personal connection, and helps me remember special moments in my life. There’s a special place in my heart for apples. My dad’s side of the family comes from Wenatchee, Washington, known as the “Apple Capital of the World”. Being in the military as a child, we moved around a lot, yet we always came back to Wenatchee. It’s one of the few places this Army brat can truly call “home”. In fact, there’s a sign when you first drive into town, with a giant red apple on it. Every time I see it, it seems to make my heart happy, and soothes my soul. It’s hard not to envision the orchards, as far as the eye can see, every time I pick up an apple.
This year, I decided to get back to those roots, but give them a little modern spin. I wanted something indulgent, but still relatively light, especially after a large turkey dinner. The cake is rich, yet still simple, as to not over complicate the flavors. I like to mix my apples, to give it a multi-dimensional flavor, and in this case, I used Golden Delicious, and Sweet Bee’s (a newer apple out of Chelan, Washington), but I also like the combinations of Golden Delicious/Braeburn, or Granny Smith/Gala. The goat cheese offers a tangy creaminess, that isn’t too sweet, or heavy. I adore goat cheese, especially as an alternative to typical cream cheese. And the caramel drizzle is just enough to give it a warm, buttery taste, with just a slight cinnamon kick from the whiskey.
One of the things that I prefer about this cake, is that it isn’t a traditional spice cake. With the amount of spiced foods that we can get bombarded with during the holidays, it’s nice to have something that is a little fresher on the palate. The soft vanilla cake with the slight crisp of the diced apples could compliment any season. The caramel sauce has a simple base, that can be combined with almost liquor. I can see trying this with amaretto, or chocolate liqueur in my future.
This is a spin on a recipe I found from The Cake Blog. While I can’t take credit for the cake recipe (why mess too much with perfection), I made a few changes to the frosting/caramel. If you’re looking for more cake recipes, be sure to check out their website. Just the photos alone make me want to give up my diet! This particular cake is rich, with the right balance of tart and sweet, but is definitely meant for sharing, otherwise it will add a little to your waistline. But isn’t sharing what the holiday spirit is all about?