Apple Chardonnay Layered Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Original Apple compote recipe from Entertaining with Beth
400g granulated sugar
420g all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
240g whole milk
1 tablespoons white vinegar
144g vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract (or whatever vanilla you prefer)
3 gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
25g granulated sugar
60ml white wine (I used this one)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
Brown Butter Frosting
230g unsalted butter
57g cream cheese room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
500g confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F, grease and line two 6” round pans with parchment and set aside. Fit the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attachment and combine sugar, flour, salt and baking soda in the mixer and turn on low speed to sift the ingredients.
In a bowl, combine the vinegar and the milk and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the oil and vanilla. While the mixer is running on low, add the oil mixture, milk mixture and half of the water to the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated and free of lumps. Add the last bit of water and blend until fully incorporated.
Fill pans and bake for 30-45 minutes. The cakes are ready when they feel set to the touch.
For the Compote. Place apple chunks, sugar, white wine, water, cinnamon and zest in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil and let cook for 10 mins. Simmer uncovered until most of the liquid is evaporated. Mask apples into a paste with a fork. Allow to cool completely, it will thicken as it cools. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and fridge until ready to use.
For the Buttercream. Make the browned butter the night before. In a sauté pan, melt half the butter over high heat, and cook until medium-brown flecks form. This will take 10 minutes or so. Pour the browned butter into a bowl, cover and leave overnight at room temperature to cool and firm up.
The next day, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and free of lumps. You will need to scrape down the bowl a couple of times. Add the browned butter mix until smooth. Switch to the mixer's whisk attachment, and add the sugar, salt and vanilla-bean paste. Mix on low until incorporated.
For assembly. Level the tops of each cake with a knife or cake leveler. Place one of the cakes on a cake stand, top with a layer of frosting, and smooth it out into one even layer. Plus ½ cup of the apple compote over the top of the cake. Repeat with the second layer of cake on top and use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.