Apple Butter Pound Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

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OMG! Why did it take me six years to make this?!? This is one unbelievable cake!! It tastes like Fall in sugar form! There really aren't enough words to tell you how good this cake is! (I have writer's block trying to think about how to describe how incredible it tastes, so let me just write about the recipe because you will need to make this cake ASAP.)

This is a cold-oven pound cake. And by that, I mean you turn the oven on AFTER you put the pan in the oven.  It is an old technique that produces a tall cake with a nice crisp crust. I love the crispy bits, don't you? The one thing that I want to point out is the bake time; it will vary depending on how quickly your oven heats up. The pilot light in my gas oven is a little slow to start (because I use it so much), therefore it took my cake a bit longer than 80 minutes to bake. To keep the top from browning too much, I lightly covered it with a sheet of aluminum foil towards the end of the bake time. 

As far as the recipe, I really didn't change much to the cake, but I did to the glaze/frosting.  The original recipe called it a glaze, but I knew by looking at the magazine photo that it was more of a pourable frosting than a glaze.  So to achieve that, I made sure that the base of the frosting was completely cooled before I beat in the confectioners' sugar.  And let me tell you that I am super glad that I went for the pourable frosting.  Holy yum and cue the sugar rush! 

The cake and frosting is all you need, but if you feel like getting fancy, dress the top of the cake with some dried apple chips like I did. Just make sure you wait to garnish until you are going to serve the cake, otherwise the apple chips will soften and loose their crunch.

Now, please don't do what I did and wait six years to make this cake!  It is sooooo good!!


Goat Cheese and Gouda Pimento/Pimiento Cheese

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Pimiento or Pimento? They are both equally accepted.  The former is the original Spanish term for mild cherry peppers.  The latter is just how the term evolved.  Is the latter a Southern term?  I don't know.  I do know that when I say it, it sounds like PUH-MEN-UH and I do spell it as pimento . However you spell it or say it, it is a delicious little pepper that adds flavor and color to a dish or a stuffed Manzanilla olive.  Speaking of stuffed olives...

Quick story... Someone close to me (I will not name the person) with a very high IQ once asked, "So do they just take the pimentos out of the olives and put them in jars?" OMG you should have seen the expression on my face!! I just about died from laughter and disbelief. It was truly a "you've got to be kidding me" moment!!!šŸ˜‚

Ok, back to the cheese.  How many variations of the classic pimento cheese are there? I have no clue, but I bet one could write a book just about pimento cheese (Wait, I just looked. There is one!).  Some refer to it as the peanut butter of the South, but I like to think of it as the flavored butter of the South.  You can do almost anything to or with a basic recipe.  Add jalapeƱos, bacon, horseradish, buffalo sauce, onion, olive spread, chipotle sauce, etc...and/or change up the cheeses, like in this recipe.  Once again, the possibilities are endless!  Having said that, there is one thing that must remain in any recipe, a good amount of quality  Cheddar cheese and mayonnaise (NOT the salad dressing stuff).  The other thing that is an absolute must is the technique.  What ever cheese you are using, grate or crumble it yourself.  Step away from the bags of the pre-shredded stuff.  There are stabilizers in there and they lend an off-putting taste to the end result.  Another important tip is to let the cheese mixture set-up in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, especially if you are using add-ins or using different cheeses.  This allows the flavors to develop.

In this particular recipe, the original called for adding pecans to the mixture, but I really like the side addition/option of the candied pecans.   If you choose to "go-nuts", you get that whole sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy thing all-in-one bite.  If you choose to stay in the nut-free zone, you still get a delicious mouthful of flavor.  Along with the pecans,  I like to serve this pimento cheese recipe with Blue Diamond Artisan Crackers; either flax seed or multi-seed.

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