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Apple Cake

This dense, moist cake is full of delicate spices and - you guessed it - apples. What's not to love?

You'll need:

+ butter, 3 sticks, softened
+ sugar, 1 cup
+ brown sugar, 3/4 cup
+ ground cinnamon, 3 teaspoons
+ ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon
+ baking soda, 3 teaspoons
+ applesauce, 1 1/8 cups
+ sour cream, 1/2 cup
+ 5 eggs
+ whole wheat flour, 2 1/4 cups
+ flour, 1 1/8 cups
+ salt, 1 pinch
+ 3-4 small, tart apples, peeled & cored

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; liberally grease a Bundt pan. Set aside.

Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, applesauce and sour cream; beat until thick and smooth. Sift together cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, whole wheat flour, flour and salt. Gradually incorporate dry ingredients into wet mixture; set aside.

Slice apples paper thin. The rounds should remain intact, but be flimsy, too. (If your knife skills aren't spectacular and you own a mandolin, this would be a great time to use it.) Transfer 1 cup of cake batter into Bundt pan; smooth with a spatula, and arrange apple slices in a thin layer, as shown.

Repeat until batter is completely used, bearing in mind that the last layer should be of batter, not apples. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine was particularly moist and began to ooze halfway through baking, but don't fret if this happens to yours! Carefully scrape away this delicious goo from the top of the cake (it'll burn quickly, and won't be quite so tasty, then) and discard (or eat); continue baking cake as normal.

While cake is cooling completely, prepare the candied apple peel garnish. You'll need:

+ 1 large red apple
+ 1 large green apple
+ water, 3/4 cup
+ sugar, 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup

Remove peels from apples in thick strips; julienne. Simmer in water and sugar until the flesh on the inside of the skin turns transparent; drain. Gently toss in reserved sugar. After inverting the cake onto a plate, top with the candied peels. Enjoy!

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