Cosmic Crisp Apple Ornament Cake

Cosmic Crisp Apple Ornament Cake

This festive new cake, specially created for Cosmic Crisp by celebrity chef Chadwick Boyd, is perfect for the holidays. Boyd treats the beautiful, ruby-red fruit not only as a flavorful ingredient but as a colorful holiday decoration. When cooked or baked, Cosmic Crisps retain their shape and much of their crimson color, resembling — in this dessert — vintage red-glass holiday ornaments.Pro tips: Cosmic Crisp apples weighing 9 to 10 ounces are best suited for this recipe. Use the smallest apple for the center. When arranging, the apples may touch the outside of the pan — that’s OK. Gently smoosh the center apple in place, if needed. It may sit up a little higher than the other apples, like a star on a tree. It will settle a bit.
Prep Time30 mins
Active Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Holiday
Keyword: Apple, Baking, Cake, Cosmic Crisp
Yield: 8

Materials

For the Apples

  • 5 Cosmic Crisp apples
  • 3 cups sparkling wine
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 1-2 star anise pods

For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • sticks unsalted butter softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sparkling wine
  • 1-2 tsp glittery sugar optional

Instructions

For the Apples

  • Wash Cosmic Crisp apples. Leave skin on.Using a fork, pierce the bottoms of the Cosmic Crisp apples in a cross pattern, about ¾-inch deep.
  • Reserve ¼ cup sparkling wine. Make the poaching liquid by stirring together the remaining wine, water and sugar in a large pot or 4-quart Dutch Oven. Drop in the vanilla bean and star anise; bring to a boil.
  • Place apples in poaching liquid. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover. Poach apples for 10 minutes or until just barely tender. Using a large slotted spoon, turn apples twice during poaching time.
  • Carefully remove apples to a plate; cool slightly. Discard the star anise and vanilla bean from poaching liquid.Return heat to high. Bring poaching liquid to boiling.Boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until liquid reduces to ½ cup, has a syrup-like consistency, and turns light amber in color.
  • Remove from heat; let cool. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.

For the Cake

  • Place rack in the center of the oven; preheat oven to 350°F degrees.Lightly butter the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and the sides of the pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle, beat 1 minute more. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Add the sparkling wine; beat 30 seconds more—the mixture will look shaggy.
  • Slowly add the dry mixture, beating on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of bowl and the paddle; beat 30 seconds more. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Smooth batter using a rubber scraper.
  • Gently place the apples into the batter, making sure they do not touch the bottom of the pan. If decorating with sugar, evenly sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons on top. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake near the center apple. Loosely cover with parchment or foil if the cake starts to brown too much.
  • Transfer cake from oven; place on a wire rack. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Using a table knife, gently loosen cake edges from sides of pan. Remove sides of springform pan. Using a very wide spatula, transfer cake from bottom of springform pan to 12-inch stand or plate.
  • Gently brush wine reduction on top of cake, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with glittery sugar, if desired. Using a serrated knife, cut cake into 8 to 10 slices, being extra careful when cutting through the apples.

Notes

To make the Cosmic Crisp Ornament Cake even more festive, add a touch of fresh ginger to the poaching liquid or the batter. Cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg also would bring a warm, cozy flavor to the cake.
Photo Courtesy of Proprietary Variety Management
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