Friday, October 15, 2010
This is the rule:
No apple sauce in apple cake!
If you need to use applesauce in an apple cake, know that it will, at best, be "apple bread." And, as such, it should never be frosted.
I made a Fuji Apple Spice Cake. Rave reviews on Epicurious. And I'm still working on that spice cake. I was excited. It was going to be my birthday cake, it was going to be my community picnic cake. Luckily it was neither.
It called for apple sauce and I ended up with apple bread. It would be all right if that's what I wanted, or at least what I expected. It would be all right if I could slice a piece off, pop it in the toaster and slather it with butter. But it is in layers and heavily frosted. So it's not all right, it's gross.
This is the problem. Well, these are the problems. #1 apple sauce is not a complexly flavored food. It is one dimensionally bland and sweet. Trust me, those both exist on the same dimension. Not even that far apart on that dimension. When you add it to something, when you use it as an ingredient, it enhances the bland sweetness of what ever you are making. #2 apple sauce is wet. When added to something, used as an ingredient, it makes that thing wet. Not moist, that would be a good thing, delicate, tender, moist in a full and dreamy way. No we are talking wet. And dense. And heavy. #3 apple sauce was always the go-to fat substitute in low fat baking. So I have bad associations to that texture and mouth feel. And even though this cake has plenty of fat, I don't like it, but I constantly want more, just as with low fat baked goods. I keep eating it as if somehow there will be satisfaction, if not from the experience then perhaps just from surfeit.
So my apple cake, for which I had so much hope, is like a frosted muffin sold at the Unitarian Universalist bake sale.
And I still don't have my spice cake.
At least we have a rule.