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Applesauce Cake (D, TNT)
Source: Wildwood Restaurant
Serves: 12

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup melted butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups diced unpeeled apples

Applesauce filling:
1 envelope gelatin
1/2 cup apple cider or water
2 cups homemade or purchased applesauce

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup toasted pumpkin seed kernels

Make Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 10" cake pans; set aside.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, 2 cups brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the lemon juice.

Slowly add the flour mixture and continue to beat until combined. The batter will be thick. Stir in the apples.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes or until the cake is brown on top and the sides are pulling away from the pan. Let cool in the pan, then remove to a wire rack.

Make the Filling:
In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cider; let stand one minute. Meanwhile, place the applesauce in a blender and blend until smooth.

In a saucepan, heat the applesauce over medium-low heat until it begins to boil. Lower to a simmer, stir in the gelatin mixture and continue to simmer for 1 minute. Remove and cool to room temperature or chill until it thickens to a spreading consistency. Set aside.

Make Icing:
By hand, using a mixer or blender, combine the brown sugar and cream cheese until just blended; set aside.

Place a dollop of the filling on a cake platter. (This will help keep the cake in place.) Place the first layer on the platter, pressing lightly. Spread half of the filling over the top.

Place the second cake on top.

Spread the top with the remaining filling, leaving 1/2" clear around the edges. Secure the cakes with skewers to prevent sliding.

Frost the sides of the cake with the icing. Press the seeds into the icing. Dust the borders with powdered sugar.

Note: Use real butter. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

At Wildwood, instead of using brown sugar, the icing is made with dulce de leche and cream cheese.

To toast pumpkin seed kernels, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the seeds in a shallow, rimmed pan and bake until lightly brown, 5-7 minutes.

If 10" pans are not available, use 8" or 9" pans, filling them no more than 2/3 full. Use any remaining batter for cupcakes.

Posted by Steve and Marilyn Kerman

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A