A recent visit to Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market prompted a sweet exploration of syrup.
Why not then douse a delicate applesauce cake in the stuff? There are maple addicts lurking about, needing a fix.
Just call me an enabler.
Later this month the stalls will come outside, but since November, four dozen farmers, artisanal producers and foodies have occupied the Brick Works every Saturday morning. Try as we may to convince ourselves we are there for the vibrant hues of heirloom carrots and beets, it’s all about the good eats for breakfast, like these crêpes from Clements.
Last week there I scooped up some gorgeous#3 Dark maple syrup from Forbes Wild Foods.
Most will enjoy the #1 on pancakes, but this dark syrup delivers a potent punch to any maple dessert. I tried it in one of our household favourites, Applesauce Cake with Maple Glaze. This is the cake for afternoon tea, weekend brunch, or study breaks. It is early spring in a mouthful, before the berries come and we put away spice and syrup for the summer.
What you need:
- 2 ¼ cup cake and pastry flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan. Square or round-I’ve made in both but the square cuts into smaller pieces and that means more people can enjoy!
2. In small bowl, combine pecans and ¼ cup of the flour.
3. In medium bowl, sift the remaining 2 cups flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In mixer, beat butter and sugar unit light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and maple syrup and beat until well combined.
5. Add applesauce. Then gradually add the flour mixture on slow speed, just until combined. Do not over mix.
6. Fold in the pecan mixture.
7. Pour batter into greased pan and bake approx. 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
8. Let cool before glazing.
Maple Syrup Glaze
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup whipping cream
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
In a mediun pot, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to continue boiling until it reaches 220 F on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Prick the cooled cake all over with a fork and pour the glaze onto the top while still in the pan. It will pool at the top and drizzle into the sides.
This is ok. Some of it soaks into the cake and the rest will harden as it cools. Let it sit for a few hours before serving.
The cake needs no embellishment but if you must dress it up, add a good vanilla ice cream. Around here, we like to plop it in a pool of maple.
Spring sugar rush.
A tiny bit goes a looooong way.
For more maple madness, try this creamy ice cream.