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Irish Apple Cake with Caramel Whiskey Glaze

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When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day fare, I lean more towards Irish dishes and ingredients more so than all things green, although those are good too!  So for this dessert, I took my inspiration from Irish apple cakes and took it up a notch with a little Irish Whisky (Bushmills, to be exact) both in the cake, as well as part of the glaze.  You could always serve this with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream or even a bit of custard, but I think it is just as delicious on its own.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.

  • 4 granny smith apples, cored, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp salted butter
  • 3 tbsp Irish whiskey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Start by cooking the apples.  Add the teaspoon of butter to a non-stick pan over low-medium heat.  When melted, add diced apples, 1 tsp of the cinnamon and brown sugar.  Allow to cook for a several minutes until apples start to soften.  Split a vanilla bean and scrape seeds into apple mixture, adding the scraped bean pod to the pan.  Add the three tablespoons of whisky, cook until apples are soft and liquids are absorbed.  Remove from heat and allow to fully cool.  This step can be done the day before, keeping the mixture in a sealed container in the fridge, leaving the vanilla bean pod in with the mixture until ready to use.

When ready to make cake, butter a tube pan and set aside.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In your mixer, cream together the cup of butter and sugar.  Add vanilla extract and then eggs, one at a time.  Scrape sides of bowl.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Add these dry ingredients to the liquid mixture in two additions.  Batter will be fairly thick.  Stir in apple mixture, making sure you discard the vanilla bean.  Pour / press into prepared pan.  Place in oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Allow cake to fully cool on rack.

For the glaze:

  • 2 1/2 ounces soft caramel candy
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 ounce Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup icing sugar

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the 2 1/2 ounces of caramel candies with whipping cream.  Cook in one minute intervals until the candy is melted and can be whisked together with the whipping cream.  Allow to cool somewhat and then whisk in the Irish whiskey, then the cup of icing sugar.  Allow the glaze to sit, cool and thicken somewhat before pouring over top of cake.  Can either be served while still slightly warm, or kept in a sealed container to slice and serve to your heart’s content !


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