I did something a little strange and a little watch-out-for-my-own-sanity.
I’m kind of proud. You see, I knew I would be getting back the grade from the exam we took on Friday. Quick recap: it was a hard, hard, hard exam about all the stuff that can go wrong with your heart. The kind that makes you realize why cardiologists make lots of money.
So anyways. I had this wonderful weekend where I expertly turned on my post-test-test-amnesia. I saw my brother and Kate and the Weatherman (AND the Accountant!) and slept and watched football and ate popcorn for dinner. You know. Your basic awesome weekend.
Then today came. And every 3 weeks, Monday comes with this one little email that has a little number in it and a graph that lets your competitive type A brain compare yourself to everybody else.
But today was just so sunny! And so less than 70 degrees! And so…not the day that may or may not be brought down by a number. So I made an executive life decision to not open that stupid email until I had enjoyed my day.
Whoa. I went ALL OUT. I worked out with a magazine in front of my face instead of the usual flash cards (October issue of Glamour – yes, I am a month behind, which means that I have a pile of 8 magazines to read uh…never – with Emma Watson on the cover YES PLEASE). I bought new body wash and lotion at Victoria’s Secret because it is addicting, and why would I buy body wash for $4 at the drug store if I can pay $12 at VS??? Exactly. I bought giant new candles at Bath and Body Works because they were ON SALE. Is it my day or what? Then I baked some challah and some cookies (think peanut butter, pretzels, malted milk powder…).
Then I supposed it was time. I poured a glass of wine (ready to be chugged in case of probs-never-going-to-be-a-doctor emergency) and opened the email.
Double bonus. I didn’t have to chug any wine, AND I had a lovely day. Actually triple bonus if you count my new body wash and candles. Do post-test Mondays get any better? (Don’t answer that. I’m perfectly content with my slightly boring life of baking and shopping for things that smell good.)
Caramel Apple Bundt Cake
Makes 10 servings
6 medium apples, peeled and roughly chopped (I used Gala, but honeycrisp or granny smith would work too)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (= 2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (as Ina Garten would say, “How easy is that??”) + 2 TBS butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
one 5.5-oz bag chewy caramels (like Werther’s), caramels unwrapped
1. Place apples, granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling, then turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook applesauce until apple pieces are soft enough to mash with a potato masher. Mash until mostly smooth, leaving some larger pieces of apple. Set aside to let cool.
2. In another medium saucepan, combine the 2 TBS butter and unwrapped caramels. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Keep over low heat to the keep the caramel melted.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-cup bundt pan or tube pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Then gently whisk in the flour. Fold in the cooled applesauce.
4. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle about 1/2 of the caramel over the batter in the pan, then add another 1/3 of the batter on top of the caramel. Pour the remaining caramel over the batter, then top with the batter that’s left. Using a thin knife, swirl the batter together.
5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Let cake cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edges of the cake. Turn the cake out onto the rack and let it continue cooling. Serve cake warm or at room temperature. (I might suggest that it would be super yums with some vanilla or butter pecan ice cream…)
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Thanks for reading, happy baking!