Arizona Princess Cake

This dense, rich cake combines Arizona apples and pecans with a generous splash of tequila. Donna Nordin thanks Alice Medrich for her inspiration.

Arizona Princess Cake
Arizona Princess Cake

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3

    cup dried apples, minced

  • 1/3

    cup tequila

  • 8

    ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1/2

    cup (4 ounces) butter

  • 3

    large eggs, separated

  • 2/3

    cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4

    cup all-purpose flour

  • 2/3

    cup finely chopped toasted pecans (see note)

  • Glaze

  • 1/2

    cup (4ounces) butter

  • 8

    ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon corn syrup

  • Cake sides & Top

  • 1/2

    cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

  • 12

    pecan halves, toasted

Directions

Steep the dried apples in tequila for 1/2 hour Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment. Flour the pan and tap out any excess. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and melt over hot water. Remove from the heat and set aside. Beat the egg yolks with half the sugar until pale yellow. Stir in the chocolate mixture, flour, and the 2/3 cup chopped pecans until thoroughly blended. Add the apples and tequila. In another bowl, beat the egg whites to the soft peak stage, then add the remaining sugar. Continue beating until firm. Gently stir a third of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out slightly moist, about 40 minutes. The cake should remain slightly moist in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Press down the edges to make them level with the center, which sinks slightly as it cools. Turn out onto a cardboard round or directly onto the rack, bottom side up. Combine the glaze ingredients in a double boiler and melt over warm water. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool to a spreading consistency. Spread a thin "crumb coating" of glaze over the top and sides of the cake and chill for 10 minutes. Reheat the remaining glaze over hot water until smooth, but not too hot. Place the cake on a rack over a plate or cookie sheet. Pour all the glaze through a sieve onto the cake. Quickly spread the glaze over the edges of the cake with a spatula, letting it run down the sides. Let the glaze dry slightly, then coat the sides with the optional chopped toasted nuts. Decorate the top with 12 toasted pecan halves. Note: To toast pecans, place shelled halves on a baking sheet in one layer and toast them in a 300°F oven until medium brown, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn. Cool. Save 12 haves for decoration. Chop the remaining pecans coarsely in a food processor. This set can be done while the apples are steeping. Note: Use minimum 54% chocolate. Donna Nordin uses Trader Joe's

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