Wednesday, June 6, 2018

CHOCOLATE APPLESAUCE BUNDT CAKE: National Applesauce Cake Day

Today is Applesauce Cake Day, and my favorite recipe for Chocolate Applesauce Cake is from Kristin Donnelly in Food and Wine in 2007. I love it because it's a one bowl cake, and when it's made 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, and today on Applesauce Day, you can make it to celebrate!

I used to make my own applesauce from my Gravenstein apple trees, but over the last few seasons my golden retriever 'retrieved' the apples before they were quite ripe. Some years, I've picked up a flat or bushel along the road in Sebastopol in Sonoma county, famous for its Gravenstein Apples. But lately I've been buying my applesauce from Trader Joe's. They sell First Press Gravenstein applesauce. How great is that?

In this recipe I use 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 unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or a 12-ounces 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 unsalted butter or cream cheese!

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