I spent a little too much time on this cake yesterday. Not having the 2-quart tube pan that was called for in this recipe, I used a 4-quart. That resulted in a rather short, but at the same time, good-tasting cake. I, however, envisioned a taller cake. One that would look lovely atop the small vintage glass cake stand with a hand-blown dome my sister gave me several years ago. That meant I had to rig-up my own little tube pan. I took a French Charlotte Mold with a diameter of 6 1/2-inches and positioned a cannoli form in the center. I mixed up some more batter and baked cake #2. This time I got exactly what I wanted.
Once the cake had cooled, I start making the Brown Sugar Icing. The ingredients are boiled until they register 238˚ (or soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer. The mixture is then quickly poured into the bowl of a stand mixer and beaten at high speed until spreading consistency. Everything seemed to be going perfectly fine until the butter separated from the sugar which left me with hard clumps floating in liquid fat. I puzzled over this for quite a while and finally decided to try it a second time. Icing #2: This time I used an instant read thermometer alongside the candy thermometer and discovered the latter was off about 20 degrees (must have been that fall on the kitchen floor several weeks ago). As much as I love being in my kitchen, not even I want to be in there doing everything twice. It did, however, end up being a delicious cake; perfect after roast chicken on a very cold winter's night.
APPLESAUCE CAKE with BROWN SUGAR ICING