I haven't been home much recently to bake, but I did make this Fresh Apple Coffee Cake before I left for my father's last week. I drizzled it with melted semi-sweet chocolate before eating. Somehow the thought of pairing apples with chocolate seemed a little strange to me, but I actually liked it a lot - at least on this cake. It's a dense, substantial cake, and great with a cup of hot coffee.
Fresh Apple Coffee Cake
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 2 2/3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 cups peeled, finely chopped apples
• 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1/3 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1/3 cup melted, unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
• additional unsalted butter for melting with chocolate
1. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer until well-combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Combine 2 2/3 cups flour, baking powder, soda and salt; add alternately to the beaten egg mixture with the buttermilk, beating until combined. Fold in the chopped apples.
4. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, 1/3 cup flour and cinnamon. Mix in the 1/3 cup of melted butter.
5. Place about 2 cups cake batter in the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the crumb mixture; repeat layers. Bake in a 350˚F oven for about 70 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing the cake from pan; cool on a wire rack.
6. Melt the 1/2 cup chocolate pieces with enough butter to give it a drizzling consistancy. Drizzle over top of cake.