Cinnamon Apple Sponge Cake
The celebratory cake served at Barack Obama's first inaugural luncheon.
Yield: Serves 10
- 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Grated zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter; 1 stick melted
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 34 slices brioche bread, or white bread
- 10 each ceramic baking ramekins or metal molds, 3” diameter
- 2 cups caramel sauce (store bought)
- 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced small
- Pinch sugar
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Melt butter in 6-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add apples and caramelize, add water, cook covered, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are completely soft. Remove cover and add sugar, nutmeg and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring apples frequently, until liquid has completely evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, apple sauce and vanilla. Set aside to cool while making crust. The filling can be made one day ahead.
Assemble and Bake
Preheat oven to 425° F and position rack in lower third of the oven. Grease 8 ceramic dishes with 1-2 tablespoons solid butter. Sprinkle sugar in dish and tilt to coat bottom and sides. Tap out excess sugar and set aside.
Using a bread knife, remove crusts from bread. Center the bottom of your mold over one of the bread squares to use as a guide to cut a round piece of bread that will fit into the mold. Cut 20 round pieces in this way. Ten will be for the bottom and 10 will be used for the top of each cake. Dip each piece in melted butter and place one at the bottom of each mold and reserving the remaining ten.
Cut each of the 15 remaining slices of bread into four rectangular pieces. Dip one side of each strip in the melted butter and arrange strips, upright, around the inside of your molds, buttered-sides against mold and overlapping each other by about 1/2". Vertically shingle 6 of the rectangles in this way to completely line each mold.
Spoon the apple filling into bread-lined molds, mounding it slightly in center.
Place the remaining 10 rounds of bread on top of filling, buttered-sides up. Press down lightly.
Bake cakes for 30 minutes uncovered, then cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and side slices are golden brown (slide a thin-bladed knife between bread and molds to check). Remove from oven, uncover, and let rest for 15 minutes on wire rack. Run thin-bladed knife around edges of molds to be able to flip the cake out onto your serving plates.
- For the apple cinnamon caramel sauce, sauté 1 cup of peeled and diced Granny Smith apple in 2 tablespoons butter, and add a pinch of sugar and cinnamon. Allow to cook until apples are lightly browned and all sugars have dissolved. Remove from heat and add 2 cups caramel sauce to the apples, stirring to coat apples.
Pour caramel apple sauce over warmed Apple Cakes and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.
Source: Today Show
See the rest of Barack Obama's Inauguration Menu.