09 September 2010

A Day of Firsts and a New Year Apple Cake

The end of the year is here. We are at a new beginning.
A birth has come, and we reenact
At its remembrance the extraordinary fact
Of our unique, incomprehensible being.

The new year has started, for moving and growing.
The child's laugh within and through the adult's tears,
In joy and incomprehension at the singing years
Pushes us into fresh life, new knowing.

Here at the end of the year comes the year's springing.
The falling and melting snow meet in the stream
That flows with the living waters and cleanses the dream.
The reed bends and endures and sees the dove's winging.

Move into the year and the new time's turning
Open and vulnerable and loving and steady.
The stars are aflame; creation is ready.
The day is at hand: the bright sun burns.

-"For Dana: 4th November" by Madeleine L'Engle

August and September have been filled with sweet new beginnings: A new life in our son, a new role for our daughter (big sister!), a new dynamic for our family of three-turned-four, and just today, a new preschool for big sister and the beginnings of first smiles from Henry. In an effort to do a better job capturing moments from this sweet life, I am taking a renewed interest in this blog. Coincidentally, today is also Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, which is time for reflection, resolutions and renewal.

In honor of the day, we eat apples, honey and other sweets to symbolize our hopes for a sweet new year. The following recipe is one I've made to celebrate this holiday before and it is nothing if not SWEET. Filled with apples and pecans and enrobed in a rich, buttery glaze, it is certainly worthy of a special celebration.
Happy New Year...here's hoping this year is as sweet as the last one!

Happy New Year Cake


* Butter, for greasing pan
* 1 3/4 cups sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 3 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
* 1 cup shredded coconut
* 1 cup chopped pecans (I toasted mine first)


* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tablespoon brandy or cognac


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a bundt pan.

For the cake: in a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract; and mix well. Fold apples, coconut, and pecans into batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.

Shortly before the cake is done, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large, DEEP saucepan, stir in the sugar, salt, buttermilk, cognac and baking soda, and bring to a good rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Poke a few holes in the cake and pour the sauce over the hot cake in the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven. You may have to gently move the cake away from the walls of the pan to allow it to soak in and run down the side of the cake inside the pan. Let stand 1 hour, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

-Adapted from Paula Deen's "Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake."

Posted by ThinkLoveSleepEat at 7:20 AM 0 comments
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1 comment:

  1. Woot for new beginnings~Henry~Olivia becoming a big sister~growing family's~O starting preschool~new apple cake recipes to try! But most of all~so excited to follow your sweet family on this blog. The poem is beautiful~and exactly what I needed to read in this moment. Thank you. xo