it's my favorite time of year-- that delicious month or so when it is crisp and chilly, almost cold in the morning. bundles of sweaters, holding on to a big mug of tea while still holding out on turning on the heat. this slightly salty browned butter (how many of my recipes start with that phrase? and is that a problem?) skillet cake with apples and big ole chunks of dark chocolate is the perfect treat for this moment.
i made this cake the other night when j was away late for a parents' meeting at school. the house got cozy warm and filled with the smell of butter and apples and when he got home, we ate it straight out of the pan in bed.
i didn't have any leavening agent in the house, so this cake doesn't have any. it was perfect as such-- somewhere between a chewy cookie bar and a cake. true autumn perfection.
1 stick butter, melted and browned on the stove top (until it smells nutty and delicious and the milk solids sort of separate out on the top)
1 c sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1.5 cup flour
1 t salt (i used big Maldon salt flakes)
1 big apple, cut into hunky chunks (i used a ginger gold variety from a local farm)
1 cup dark chocolate chunks (fair trade, duh)
melt the butter. once browned & cooled, stir in sugar. then stir in vanilla and eggs. stir in flour, cinnamon, and salt. drop in the chunks of apple & chocolate, mix.
bake at 350 ish (we are just using a tiny awesome electric stove from the 50s that says "low to high" and you just guess...) and bake until it smells good. maybe 20-25 minutes? take it out when the center still looks soft and let it cool. it's actually a lot better cooled down and firmed up. underbaked is always better.
TA DA. you will the bake this cake on repeat every night for the next month.