This spicy ginger-apple cake is studded with chocolate chips and goes great with a cup of The Dark Side French Roast, or your favorite Cafe Campesino single origin coffee. We're not sure how it got named after the spookiest holiday, but it is a great way to use those fresh autumn apples. The addition of molasses means it also matches our black and orange decor!
Yield: One 13 x 9-inch cake (12 to 14 servings)
Prep time: 00:30
Cook time: 01:00
Total time: 01:30
2 cups dark molasses
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
4-3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground mace
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
4 tart medium apples
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or any Fair Trade chocolate cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
Combine the molasses, butter, and coffee in a medium-size saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, and let cool to lukewarm.
Sift the flour, salt, spices, and baking soda together onto a large piece of waxed paper.
Core, peel, and halve the apples, then slice them into l/4-inch thick slices. Line the prepared pan with the apple slices slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle them with the brown sugar.
Whisk the eggs into the molasses mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix quickly but thoroughly. Then add the sour cream, mixing just until it is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, and then pour the cake batter over the apple slices.
Bake in the center of the oven until the cake springs back when touched lightly and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and transfer it to a wire rack to cool at least to lukewarm before serving.
To serve, cut the cake in pieces and turn them out of the pan upside down, so the apple slices are on top. Or turn the whole cake out onto a large serving platter.
(From the Farm House Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis, Workman Publishing)