Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall Equinox Chocolate Applesauce Bundt Cake

Photo: Judie Siddall
We're coming up on the Fall Equinox, and Fall is all about harvest, and, for me, apples. I've posted this recipe before, but it's perfect for Fall. It's my favorite recipe for Applesauce Cake. It's a Chocolate Applesauce Cake, of course. This recipe is adapted from Kristin Donnelly and was in Food and Wine in 2007. I love that it's a one bowl cake, and when you bake it in a bundt pan, it's pretty, as well as easy. Applesauce cakes are usually spice cakes, so this recipe may remind you of the holidays. Nevertheless, it's great all year round!

I used to make my own applesauce from my Gravenstein apple trees, but over the last few years, Topper and Rosie, my golden retrievers, have 'retrieved' the apples before they were quite ripe. Some years, I pick up a flat or bushel along the road in Sebastopol in Sonoma county, famous for its Gravenstein Apples. But I also buy my applesauce from Trader Joe's. They sell First Press Gravenstein applesauce. How great is that? Of course, you can always use your favorite applesauce in this recipe.

I add chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, but use what you have and what you like. I always have good chocolate around, so I tend to chop it up and use it in cakes and cookies. It changes things up in terms of taste! Also, always make sure your spices are fresh.

CHOCOLATE APPLESAUCE BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups unsweetened applesauce  (applesauce from Gravenstein apples- my favorite!)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick sweet butter, melted
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or a 12-ounce bag semisweet-chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Optional: Crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.
In large bowl, whisk flour with granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cloves, and pepper. Whisk in applesauce, eggs, oil and melted butter. Fold in chocolate chunks or chips.
Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Transfer pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over cake, slice and serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream--or plain.
This cake also tastes great toasted for breakfast with sweet butter or cream cheese!

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