Friday, November 27, 2020

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake


Here’s something that says “fall” to me: apple cider doughnut cake. It’s a typical loaf cake in that it’s easy to bake and keeps really well, but the apple cider reduction makes it particularly flavorful and moist. The original recipe says that you can use buttermilk instead of sour cream, and any neutral vegetable oil instead of the butter. I made this with white whole wheat flour, as always, and it was great. Note that, as evidenced by the photos, if you serve it right away, the sugar will fall off the slices a bit, but if you have the patience to wait a day, it’ll stay put. 

9 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, divided, plus more for pan 
1 ½ cups apple cider 
½ cup lactose-free sour cream 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 ¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. (172 g) all-purpose flour 
2 Tbsp. (15 g) cornstarch 
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder 
½ tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more 
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided 
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, divided 
2 large eggs, room temperature 
1 cup (200 g) sugar, divided 

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325 °F. Lightly butter an 8½"x4½" or 9"x5" loaf pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on both long sides. 

Bring cider to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cider is reduced to ¾ cup, 8–10 minutes. Pour ¼ cup reduced cider into a small measuring glass or bowl and set aside. Transfer remaining reduced cider to a small bowl and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla and set aside. 

Melt 8 Tbsp. butter in same saucepan (no need to clean) over low heat. Let cool slightly. 

Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, ½ tsp. cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. nutmeg in a medium bowl to combine. 

Vigorously whisk eggs and ¾ cup (150 g) sugar in a large bowl until pale, voluminous, and frothy, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add melted butter in a steady stream; continue to whisk until fully combined and emulsified (no spots of fat should remain). Reserve saucepan. 

Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture in 3 additions, alternating with reserved sour cream mixture in 2 additions; whisk just until no lumps remain. Batter will be thin. 

Scrape into pan and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until deep golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60–80 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and poke top of cake all over with a toothpick. Spoon 3 Tbsp. reserved reduced cider over; let cool 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, mix a big pinch of salt, remaining ¼ cup (50 g) sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. nutmeg in a small bowl. Melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in reserved saucepan and mix into remaining 1 Tbsp. reduced cider. 

Using parchment paper, lift cake onto rack and set rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Peel away parchment from sides. Brush warm butter mixture over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture to coat every surface (use parchment to help rotate cake and collect any excess sugar). Remove parchment and let cool completely before slicing.

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