Words of wisdom given to the Jersey Girl, who is patiently and at times not so patiently awaiting the arrival of her Jersey Baby, over the past two weeks include the following:
Go take a ride on a bumpy road.
Wash your windows.
Eat spicy food.
Take a long, brisk walk.
Stop cleaning and go lay down.
Rest now because you will never rest again.
Observations made to the Jersey Girl regarding the fact that she is still insanely prego:
We thought for sure you’d go over the weekend.
You’re all baby.
The baby must be really comfy in there.
You must be due any day now.
You look lower.
You don’t look lower
You look ready.
You don’t look ready.
How do you feel?
Yes, pregnancy means the whole world is your own personal peanut gallery. I know all my fam, friends and that random lady in the grocery store mean well, but when your baby is past his due date, these conversations get old.
I guess you could say I’m just really ready for the Jersey Baby to get his cute bootie here. His lateness is driving me and his Daddy loco.
Each night we think this is The Night, and we’re always totally wrong. I’ve been rockin the Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. Awesome. But they never lead to much more than a tossing and turning and groaning and sometimes cursing Susan who wakes up every hour.
I am 2 centimeters dilated. Hurray!
But yeah. We have a Friday morning appointment to get our induced labor on. I’m sure I’m going to sleep so soundly Thursday night. Ha ha.
When trying to stay calm, I love to bake. I’m sharing with you a recipe I made in September or October. I don’t even remember, and I don’t know what I was trying to calm down about. Apples are the star of the show, so you can still make it now and get a super yum yum result.
Spiced Apple Coffee Cake is featured in “The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book.” I know, I know. You’re thinking, “This cookbook? Again? Really?”
Yes, I totally pimp out “The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book,” but I have to say it rocks. Seriously. If you have anyone near and dear to your heart who loves to bake, you should totally gift them this cookbook. Its awesomeness revolves around the gorgeous pictures, clear and concise recipe instructions and helpful baking tips. All the things I look for in a baking cookbook. So, that’s why it has the Jersey Girl’s heart.
The cake is very fall. I did substitute all-spice for the cardamom that was called for in the recipe. The reasons are as follows: 1. Cardamom was not to be found in my house. 2. I did locate the spice in a local grocery store, but that cat cost 20 smackaroos for a teeny, tiny container. No thanks, McCormick. I’m all for spending dollas dollas on good quality ingredients and cooking items, but for a spice that I’m going to use once, I don’t think so.
Anyways, all-spice works fab in spiced cakes and desserts, so that’s the way this cake went down in the Jersey Girl’s house.
Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) cake
1 ¼ cups (9oz/280 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup (2 ½ oz/75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 lb (500 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped, then tossed in 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (pippin, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith)
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (12 oz/375 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Vanilla Glaze (recipe follows cake recipe)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Grease and flour a 9-inch (230cm) round springform pan or square baking pan or baking dish. If using a glass baking dish, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius).
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Add the apples and toss to coat.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat well until smooth. Using a large spatula, gently fold in the apples just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the top is golden brown, 60-70 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan, if using, and place the cake on a wire rack set over a piece of waxed paper to catch any drips. Drizzle with the glaze Let the cake cool to room temperature. Cut into wedges or squares to serve.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together ¾ cup (3 oz/90 g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar, sifted; 2 Tbsp condensed skim milk, warmed; and ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract until smooth and pourable. Adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more milk, a few drops at a time, if necessary.
Please note: The Jersey Girl used all-spice instead of cardamom. She also bakes with extra large eggs. In the Vanilla Glaze, she used regular milk instead of condensed skim milk. She made the cake in a 9-inch square baking pan.