Haniela's: ~Acorn Apple Caramel Cinnamon Coffee Cake~

~Acorn Apple Caramel Cinnamon Coffee Cake~

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I had no idea what to do with an acorn squash my neighbor gave me, in fact I've never heard of it before. It was wikipedia to the rescue, and once I learned it is safe to consume I was trying to hunt down some recipes, what I found was mostly savory but my taste buds were telling me otherwise; then I found out I could make a puree and it made me realize I could try using it in place of pumpkin puree. Though I like pumpkin cake, cupcakes or pumpkin cookies, I just can't get myself to eat pumpkin pie(my deepest apologies to all the pumpkin pie lovers).
Acorn puree on the other hand has a flavor I kind of like in the full dose, not so robust and quite welcoming.I especially like addition of honey and cinnamon, and this puree  would make for a lovely mousse as well.

Rachel a friend of mine from Mangez Brioche gave me a beautiful book Grand Finales: The Art of the Plated Dessert
It is full of artfully presented desserts, some I feel are beyond my baking years. I came across pumpkin sponge cake recipe and it gave me an idea for Acorn Sponge Cake.I mean, how bad can it be, right? Squash like squash. It is a pure joy to experiment with unknown, especially when it turns out to be delicious and  Acorn Sponge Cake came out quite tasty, I really enjoyed it plain but decided to add some fall flavors, my favorite for this particular cake was caramel. I kept  wanting more.
You can experiment with what you'd like to add, you can certainly keep it simple and use one or 2 fillings.
I hope you enjoy it.





Acorn Apple Caramel Cinnamon Coffee Cake
200 grams/7oz cake flour
2tsp cinnamon
11/4 tsp baking powder
4eggs, separated
300grams granulated sugar/10 oz
425grams/15oz acorn squash or pumpkin puree

Acorn Puree
One large acorn squash
2bl butter
1tsp cinnamon
2tbl honey

Preheat oven to 395F
Cut the acorn in half, remove seeds from the inside. In a small dish combine butter honey and cinnamon.
Spread the mixture all over the cut part of the acorn.
Bake acorn halves cut side up, in a water batch, about 1 inch water in the dish, for about 40-45 minutes, uncovered, until fork soft.
Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.Scoop out all the cooked inside. Place the cooked acorn pieces in the food processor and blend until smooth. Reserve for later use in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. This puree can be used just like you'd use pumpkin, it has a more subtle flavor compare to pumpkin puree.

 Acorn Sponge Cake
Preheat oven to 350F
In a medium size bowl, sift together cake flour, cinnamon, baking powder
Whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until medium stiff peaks are formed.Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer beat egg yolks with sugar until doubled in volume and pale in color.Add acorn/pumpkin puree.Alternatively add flour and meringue into the egg yolk mixture and fold in until no traces of flour are visible. Pour into a prepared 9 inch round cake form. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Apple Filling

4 medium size apples
1/4cup/60grams/2oz brown sugar, add more if desired
2tbl chopped crystallized ginger
1/2tsp cinnamon
juice of one lemon
1/4cup/60ml water
2tbl corn starch

Peel and grate apples, cook apples with sugar, ginger and lemon. Bring to boil and cook  until soft but still holding the shape.In a small dish combine water and corn starch and add the mixture to the apples, stirring constantly, apples mixture will thicken, cook for 2 minutes.Let cool slightly, cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin forming.

 Caramel Cream Filling
1/2cup-3/4cup/100grams-150grams/ granulated sugar
2cups / 500 ml heavy whipping cream
2tsp gelatin
4tbl water

In a heavy sauce pan cook sugar until it melts and starts to brown, let it cook until it reaches amber color, then carefully pour heavy cream over the caramel, taking care not splatter hot stuff on the skin. Caramel will harden immediately, just stir and it will dissolve slowly. Once all the caramel has dissolved, cook for a minute or two, remove from heat and let cool completely. Then chill in the fridge overnight.This filling can be prepared a day or two before.

Chill the bowl and beaters in the fridge for 15 minutes. In the meantime let the gelatin bloom in 1/4 water for 5 minutes. Using a microwave on 50% power dissolve gelatin, using 3 seconds intervals until it is completely dissolved. Let the gelatin mixture cool to room temperature.
Beat the chilled heavy whipping cream until soft peaks are formed, then slowly add dissolved gelatin at room temperature and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Don't over whip as you'll get grainy texture.

Coffee Cinnamon Filling

2 1/2 cups /650ml  heavy whipping cream
1tbl instant espresso
2  tsp cinnamon
1/4c-1/2cup/50-100grams granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp gelatin
1/4cup water


Dissolve espresso  in 2tbl heavy cream, set aside.
Chill the bowl and beaters in the fridge for 15 minutes. In the meantime let the gelatin bloom in 1/4 water for 5 minutes. Using a microwave on 50% power dissolve gelatin, using 3 seconds intervals until it is completely dissolved. Let the gelatin mixture cool to room temperature.
Beat the chilled heavy whipping cream until soft peaks are formed,add dissolved espresso, sugar and then slowly add dissolved gelatin at room temperature and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Don't over whip as you'll get grainy texture.


Once your sponge cake is cooled, start filling the cake, first spread apple filling on top, let set for several hours in the fridge and then continue with caramel filling and cinnamon coffee filling. Let set for several hours or overnight. I suggest making each filling just before you are ready to use it.
Decorate top with shaved chocolate. Enjoy. Store in the fridge.

~♥~

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