"The full-size version of this recipe caught my eye many years ago because it uses apple cider," shares Karla Stichter of New Paris, Indiana. "My father has a small orchard and we all help pick, wash and sort the apples before they're pressed into cider. We all love this delicious cake."
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- CARAMEL SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons apple cider or juice, divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line two 6-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Set aside 1 tablespoon. Add cider, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar to remaining yolks.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter; then fold in remaining whites. Fold in crumbs and almonds.
- Gently spoon into prepared pans. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
- In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, butter and 2 tablespoons cider. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir a small amount into reserved yolk; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Cool.
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in 2 tablespoons caramel sauce until smooth. Spread over one cake; top with remaining cake. Add remaining cider to remaining caramel sauce to achieve drizzling consistency.
- Beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Frost top and sides of cake. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Caramel Nut Torte in Cooking for 2 Winter 2007, p33
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