Ahhhhhhhhh… Deep breath of relaxation. The birthday party for the little man was a grand success. I love throwing parties, but it’s always a great relief on the morning after. No long list of things to cook, corners to clean, or balloons to inflate. Just a house which looks like a herd of elephants charged through during the night and me on my computer, looking through pictures from the party and eating leftover caramel apple cake.
Mmmm… Caramel Apple Cake.
We’ll get to that cake in a minute. But first a few pics from the party.
The little man requested a dumptruck party. So, a dumptruck party he received.
There were construction themed plates with dumptruck designs, construction vehicles hanging in the windows, dumptrucks filled with potato chips, and hard hats, of course.
The sandwich and salad menu was a hit. Once the work of composing the sandwiches was complete, it was an easy meal to serve. The popular favorite turned out to be the Roast Beef, Cheddar, Apples, and Horseradish Sauce, which I served on cheese bread, lightly warmed in the oven.
For dessert, we enjoyed the Muddy Cups, which were my personal favorite. You may remember that I made the Muddy Cups as a solution to mangled, over-filled cupcakes. They turned out to be delicious. I’d purposely mangle cupcakes any day, in order to make more Muddy Cups.
We sang Happy Birthday, of course, and the little man blew out his birthday candle. It was sweet to watch the expression on his face as the room full of people sang to him. He was clearly confused and intrigued by the event.
Amongst other fantastic gifts, he received a dinosaur costume, which we all enjoyed.
And did I mention this Caramel Apple Cake??
On the flight home from NYC a couple weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Food Network magazine and was greeted with the recipe for this cake. I instantly added it to my list of recipes to try. Last weekend’s apple picking excursion provided me with the star ingredient. So, I whipped it up yesterday as an extra party treat.
The recipe starts with a homemade caramel, which is delicious and simple to make. The entire process sort of has a mad scientist feel to it. You start with a pot full of dry sugar, which magically melts in an amber syrup. Then you add the butter and cream. Do be careful and use a deep pot and a long spoon for mixing. It will bubble up a storm once you add the butter and cream. The vigorous bubbling which ensues the moment the butter and cream hit the syrup actually led my husband to question whether I was doing it right. Yes, dear. I’m doing it right. It’s a lot of fun to make. Just be careful and keep kids at a distance.
Part of the hot caramel is poured into a buttered pan. You need a deep pan for this recipe, at least 3 inches deep. I was able to find one in the baking section of my local craft store. After the caramel has cooled a bit, sliced apples are arranged in an overlapping round and a halved apple is placed in the center.
The batter is then prepared and poured over the apples. Chopped apples are placed on topped and the cake is baked for about an hour and twenty minutes.
To serve, the caramel is remelted by placing the cake pan in a dish of boiled water. The cake is inverted over a serving plate. Then, the reserved caramel is warmed and drizzled on top.
Overall, I really liked this recipe, though I agree with some of the reviews that 1 1/2 cups of caramel is more than necessary for drizzling over the top. No real complaints here though, since the extra caramel will be great over ice cream. As far as the cake batter goes, I’d rework this part of the recipe if I made it again. It was just a touch too dry and a tad bland for my tastes. I’d be inclined to sweeten it up a touch, add a bit more cinnamon, and decrease the flour for a moister, sweeter, spicier cake.
You can find the recipe for Caramel Apple Cake, along with a step by step slideshow, by clicking here.
Looking forward to a day of eating leftovers and relaxing in my messy house!