Weekly Swoon: Serving Up a Fall-Ready Sweet Treat
A rē•invention of a classic.
As we collectively settle into fall, it is the perfect time to indulge in an array of autumnal flavors in indulgent desserts. This time of year begs us to rē-create summer’s warmth and comfort with that hint of spice in our sweet treats. We’re all already familiar with the numerous pumpkin spice medleys to be had, and whole-heartedly embrace apple season in every sense, but we’d like to rē-visit those underrated tastes that tend to fly under the radar.
Every week, we’ll be sharing a favorite recipe from Athena Calderone, founder of the lifestyle blog EyeSwoon, to be a guiding light in your culinary journeys — and to spark some new flavors to test out in the comfort of your own homes. Last time, we shared a delicious recipe inspired by Sicily for swordfish paired with raisins and a lemon olive chutney. This week, we had Athena share a fall-inspired dessert recipe that’s bound to make any gathering that much more special — and is perfect for the holidays.
Join us in stepping out of our culinary comfort zones this season by embracing some of the less-than-traditional — but equally-as-delicious — dessert flavors. For a moment of pure bliss, treat yourselves and your loved ones, to decadent sweetness below.
For the cake
- Unsalted butter, for greasing the pans
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups (440 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 ml) canola oil
- ½ cup (120 ml) applesauce
- 1 pound (455 g) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (about 3 cups/330 g lightly packed)
For the syrup
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) dry sherry
- 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a Microplane
Method of Preparation
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190˚C). Grease a 9- by 13-inch (23- by 33-cm) baking pan, dust the inside with flour, and tap out the excess.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and ginger. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the brown sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed.
Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, then add the applesauce and mix until all of the ingredients are fully combined.
Add the dry ingredients in two batches, stirring just until combined—be careful not to overmix.
Gently stir in the carrots. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the cake is golden brown and a knife or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Make the syrup:
In a saucepan, bring the granulated sugar, sherry, and ¼ cup (60 ml) water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the ginger. Set aside and let it cool completely.