Culinary Challenge Honorable Mention: Best Take on Celebration Cake
Recipe by Lorraine Stevenski, honorable mention for Best Take on the Celebration Cake under the At-Home Chef Category of the Culinary Challenge!
Prepare the pan: Line a 9″-10″ tube pan with a removable bottom with parchment paper lightly coat with cooking spray lightly dust with flour. You can also use a 9″ springform pan line with parchment spray and dust with flour Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking pan on a half sheet pan. Make the topping: To a bowl of a small food processor add the pecan pralines toffee bits and ground cinnamon. Pulse a few times to coarsely chop. Add to a small mixing bowl and stir in the honey.
Make the cake: In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour all the spices baking soda and salt. In another large mixing bowl whisk together the sugar chopped apples pumpkin puree oil eggs and vanilla whisk just until smooth. With a rubber spatula slowly add the apple mixture into the flour mixture stir from the bottom so no flour remains. Do not over mix. Evenly sprinkle the topping into the bottom of the pan (the bottom will be the top of the cake). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester comes out clean about 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan about 15 minutes to firm up.
Gently rock the cake back and forth to free the cake from the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan to free the cake if necessary. Place a cake plate on top of the tube pan. Using pot holders hold the cake plate in place with one hand and carefully turn the tube cake upside down onto a cake plate with the other hand. The bottom of the cake is now the top of the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely and remove parchment paper. Push back any stray pieces of topping back onto the cake if necessary.
Make the brown sugar icing: In a small saucepan on medium heat combine butter brown sugar and milk. Bring to a simmer whisking continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens about a minute or two. Remove from the heat add the vanilla and the slowly add the confectioner’s sugar whisking vigorously until you reach your desired consistency. The icing will start to firm up quickly so have the cake cooled and ready.
Immediately drizzle the icing over the cake. Start the drizzle from the top of the cake to the edge so it drips down the side of the cake. Garnish the top with more whole pralines and a sprinkle of Turbinado sugar if you like. Makes about 12 generous slices.