The Fish House in Stanley Park’s executive chef Karen Barnaby invented this recipe for a contest hosted by the growers of Ambrosia apples. The cake, laced with bourbon, earned first prize It’s rich and moist, so no icing is needed—just serve with a generous spoonful of whipped cream and a cup of Earl Grey tea.
For apple filling:
|1/2 lb||cream cheese, at room temperature||250 g|
|1/2 cup||dark brown sugar||125 mL|
|1/2 cup||bourbon||125 mL|
|1 tsp||pure vanilla extract||5 mL|
|1 1/2 lb||peeled and cored Ambrosia apples, diced||750 g|
|1 cup||sweetened flaked coconut||250 mL|
|1 cup||coarsely chopped pecans||250 mL|
For apple cake:
|3 cups||all-purpose flour||750 mL|
|2 tsp||baking soda||10 mL|
|1 tbsp||dried ground ginger||15 mL|
|2 tsp||cinnamon||10 mL|
|1 tsp||freshly grated nutmeg||5 mL|
|1/2 tsp||ground cardamom||2 mL|
|1/2 tsp||salt||2 mL|
|1/2 cup||unsalted butter, at room temperature||125 mL|
|1/2 cup||granulated sugar||125 mL|
|3/4 cup||dark brown sugar||175 mL|
|2 tbsp||molasses||25 mL|
|2 tsp||pure vanilla extract||10 mL|
|1 cup||peeled and grated Ambrosia apple||250 mL|
|1 cup||buttermilk||250 mL|
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Generously spray a 10-inch/25 cm tube pan with cooking spray.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and brown sugar; beat with an electric mixer or by hand until well combined. Beat in the bourbon, vanilla extract and egg until the filling is a smooth consistency. Stir in the apple, coconut and pecans. Set aside.
To make the cake, in a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt.
With an electric mixer or by hand, cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the molasses and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each. Beat in the grated apple. Add one-third of the flour mixture, then one-third of the buttermilk, beating to combine. Continue in this way until all the flour and buttermilk has been added to the batter.
Spread one-third of the batter into the tube pan. Spoon the Ambrosia apple filling evenly over the batter. Spread the remaining batter on top of the apples.
Bake for 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes before turning out of the pan. Let cool completely before slicing.
Credit: executive chef Karen Barnaby, The Fish House in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia.
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