Maybe it's the recent heat waves or maybe it's the little girl growing in my belly.
Regardless, I couldn't be more ready for fall and all the comforting, cool weather flavors autumn brings.
This season, I've taken a humble apple spice cake and elevated it with some maple-scented Candy Cap cream cheese frosting, Tonewood Maple sugar from this amazing cube of maple I'm currently obsessed with and a thin layer of earth-hued, salted caramel buttercream frosting.
"Wait, what's a Candy Cap?" you may be asking.
I first discovered Candy Caps about ten years ago when I worked in the San Francisco Ferry Building. It was during a Fungi Festival, where all of the vendors made little bites featuring different mushrooms. Fresh out of culinary school with more and more leanings toward baking and pastry, I remember two tastes from that event standing out in my mind as some of the most exciting things I'd ever tried (and neither involved truffles). One was a shortbread cookie from Miette and the other was a little square of cheesecake from San Francisco Cheesecakes. Both were made with Candy Cap mushrooms and neither tasted one bit mushroomy.
Don't believe me?
Jake Godby of Humphry Slocombe ice cream says Candy Caps smell like, "the best maple syrup you've ever had." Reminiscent of waffles, pancakes, butterscotch and cinnamon buns, they're perfectly suited for sweater weather....and apple cake.
Ice cream, too:)
They're so aromatic, they'll also leave your kitchen cupboards smelling of maple all year if you don't use them up, which isn't so bad in my book.