Sean Brock is the Executive Chef at both Husk Restaurant and McCrady’s Restaurant in South Carolina. Today on the show he talks about sorghum – what it is and why it’s so hard to find. His favorite recipe that includes sorghum is this one for his grandmother’s Apple Sorghum Stack Cakes.
Keep reading for the full recipe…
Audrey Morgan’s Apple-Sorghum Stack Cake
From Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady’s Restaurants
For the cake:
1/4 pound soft unsalted butter for greasing the pans
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
9 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cups canola oil, (my grandmother used shortening, lard would be tasty as well)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups sorghum (it’s important to use real sorghum, not molasses)
Preheat an oven to 350°F. You will need to make 6 cake layers, each of which will be divided in half. This is easiest to do if you have 6 (10-inch) spring form pans. Cut 6 circles of parchment paper the size of the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan. Prepare the 6 spring form pans by greasing the bottom and sides with butter. Lay a parchment circle in the bottom and grease it with butter.
Sift the spices and flour into a large mixing bowl, add sugar and combine well.
In a separate large bowl, gently whisk the oil, buttermilk, and sorghum into the eggs. You do not want to make a lot of froth.
Slowly stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture.
Pour 1/2-inch of batter into each of the 6 greased spring form pans. Bake for 10 minutes.
Allow the layers to cool in the pans on the countertop for 1 hour.
Unlock the spring form pans and remove cake layers from the pans. Using a long, serrated knife, carefully cut each layer in into two.
For the first layer, place a piece of the cut cake cut-side up on a cake plate. Evenly spread on 6 ounces of apple butter. For the second layer, place the cut cake on top of the apple butter cut-side down. Evenly spread 6 ounces of apple butter on top of it. Continue the process with the remaining slices of cake. The last layer should be cut-side down but not have apple butter spread on it.
For the glaze:
Makes enough to glaze one stack cake
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup rye whiskey or bourbon
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/4 pound unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the sugar, whiskey, and condensed milk in a medium saucepanpan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 7 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter. When it is incorporated, stir in the milk and the vanilla extract. Cool on the counter top for 7 minutes before glazing.
Carefully pour the glaze over the top of the cake and allow it to pour over the sides. Using a cake spatula, spread the glaze evenly over the outside of the cake.
Let the cake set overnight before cutting.
The cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature and 5 days in the refrigerator.
My Grandmother’s Apple Butter
I grew up eating this on biscuits nearly every morning. The yearly ritual of making apple butter with my family is something that I will never forget, something that I will pass on to my children. Here we are using an apple that Thomas Jefferson called his favorite. In fact he once wrote from Paris “they have no apples here to compare with our Newtown Pippin.”
12c Chopped, cored, unpeeled Pippin Apples, you can use Granny Smith
¾ c Cider
½ t Ground Clove
Combine apples & cider in a nonreactive heavy bottomed 3qt pot.
Cover & cook on low for 8 hrs or until apples are soft.
This is best made in a crock-pot on low; it is much easier to scorch the apple when using a pot on the stove.
Puree in food sieve or food mill
Return pureed mix to pot
Add sugar & spices, cover
Cook on low 1-2 hrs.
If thicker apple butter is desired, cover and cook on high to desired consistency
Apple butter will keep several weeks in refrigerator or may be frozen.