The Holiday's are about to be officially in full swing! Tomorrow being the most glutenous day in america- I will be an enthusiastic participant as usual. Be your thanksgiving at home, at a friend or family's place or out and about I hope your whole heartedly indulging in a voluptuous feast fit for a king!
For my own Thanksgiving- I'll be having two! Gramma's Thanksgiving followed by my boyfriend's family at our place for a late Thanksgiving dinner. And of course I'm bringing this cake!
For The Caramel Sauce~
Pinchof cream of tartar
1/4 cup fresh apple cider
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For The Cake~
Nonstick vegetable oil spray or vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups slivered almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar plus more
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
Combine sugar, cream of tartar, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring and occasionally swirling pan for even cooking, until mixture turns a dark amber color. Careful not to overdue. Remove from heat; slowly add apple cider, cream, vinegar, vanilla, and salt (be ready! mixture will bubble vigorously), whisking to combine. Return pan to medium heat and bring to a vigorous boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring to dissolve any caramel bits, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Set aside.
*Note: The Caramel sauce can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator with a big "Please don't eat me quite yet!" sticky note.
*Another thing to note is the combination of cream of tarter and hot sugar in this recipe. The tarter prevents the sugar from caramelizing, giving you that nice, thick- sticks to your teeth! Caramel.
Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Generously coat Bundt pan with nonstick spray (I prefer to slather on the vegetable shortening like it was body butter). Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns (do not burn), about 5 minutes. *This takes special attention as it's hard to tell the actual color of the butter with the dark vanilla seeds dispersed in the pan. Take a spoon and scoop up a small spoonful to light to observe it's color frequently. You don't want to let this burn- but it should be brown. It's a thin line. Carefully remove vanilla bean; pour brown butter into a medium bowl and chill until slightly firm, about 45 minutes.
Pulse almonds in a food processor until almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl with flour. Whisk in baking powder and next 7 ingredients; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat brown butter, brown sugar, sugar, and 3/4 cup powdered sugar in a large bowl, frequently scraping down sides and bottom of bowl and beaters, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in lemon zest. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat mixture until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to low. Add half of dry ingredients; mix until almost blended. Add milk and mix until almost blended. Add remaining dry ingredients; mix until batter is blended and smooth. Scrape into prepared pan. Tap pan gently on counter to even out.
Bake until a tester inserted near the center of cake comes out clean and cake is dark golden brown and has begun pulling from sides of pan, 65-70 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack. Let cake cool in pan for 25 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
*Note: Bon Appetit states that you can make this cake 2 days ahead of time if you store it in an airtight container. I don't know about you- but with something this special I'd rather have it as fresh as possible.
Dust cake lightly with powdered sugar. Drizzle caramel sauce over cake, allowing it to drip down sides and into grooves and crevices. Serve remaining sauce alongside.- To be fair here, I'll give you the heads up that since I photographed this cake, after I had dusted it with powdered sugar (which I did last), and made a few pictures, I decided I didn't like how it looked and brushed it all off. Personal preference really =)