This time of year, my favorite, also makes me nostalgic for various other autumns I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Funny how seasons work like that, right?
As you may have read, I am currently in my hometown in Montana, which has a pretty nice fall, really. Although it has already snowed…but I don’t care because that means the weather has been nice and chill!
Still, I can’t help but reminisce about some of my favorite autumn moments during my last few years in Europe.
There was the perfectly gloomy autumn in Prague.
Wine tasting in Czech wine country.
The colors of Hallstatt, more majestic against the beauty of the Austrian Alps.
I could never forget Oktoberfest in Munich–a different type of local color to see.
The mind-blowing colors of Slovakia.
The most perfect fall ever in Slovenia, at Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj.
More wine tasting in the Brda wine region of Slovenia.
Oh, and of course…my former home of Budapest, and that castle in the park!
This past week was caramel week–apparently a bake-off first–and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it. I honestly just wished for another bread week!
The challenges, however, were interesting–millionaire’s shortbread, Dutch stroopwaffels, or a caramel cake showpiece with spun sugar. Since I wanted to do something truly autumnal–and I didn’t have a waffle maker for the waffles–I decided to make an apple spice cake!
(I thought about pumpkin, but it is only September…don’t want to pumpkin myself out!)
Specifically, I made this Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Drizzle.
I am nowhere near a good enough baker to make up my own recipes–but I did tweak this one slightly. I always have to in some way, due to the high altitude. Usually I add more liquid and remove some of the sugar and baking powder. I also increase the temperature.
In addition to the above, for this recipe I doubled the spices and used a more basic vanilla buttercream.
I also experimented with some spun-sugar nests for the top, since that was a requirement for the showstopper described above. I used good old Martha Stewart to guide me.
Again, rather rustic. Apparently “rustic” is my theme this year.
But just look at that spun sugar nest! My first time ever delving into the spun-sugar world–it was actually fun and I love how it turned out.
The other best thing about this recipe is the caramel sauce. It was perfect and surprisingly easy. You can find the recipe here!
Of course, the cake itself is also lovely–it incorporates applesauce which is such a great way to use less sugar, and also give it that coveted fall-flavor.
But really, can we just take a moment to appreciate my nest again? I’m just too proud.
Question: do you enjoy baking in the autumn? Do you feel nostalgic for past autumns?