1tspflaky sea salt (I used smoked sea salt for extra depth)
APPLE GINGER MINI CAKES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare your mini cake molds or 12 cup muffin tin by lining the interior with cupcake liners or parchment paper.
NOTE: For this recipe, I used I used a vintage cast iron pan with 12 mini cake receptacles, and lined each with a square of parchment paper pushed in to form a cup. To adapt this to more common kitchen supplies, I would recommend using a 12 cup muffin tin. The cakes will be slightly shorter and wider.
In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and cocoa powder and whisk well to combine all ingredients.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, olive oil, baking soda, eggs, apple cider, molasses and fresh ginger until smooth.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and fold together using a spatula until all dry ingredients are well incorporated.
Add the finely diced apples to the batter and fold in until evenly distributed.
Divide the batter evenly between the molds, filling nearly to the top. Firmly rap the tin/mold against the counter several times to remove bubbles from the batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out with just a crumb or two, without being gooey. Do not over bake or you'll lose the moist sticky texture.
Cool for 10 minutes in the tins and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
Remove parchment paper from cakes and flip upside down on serving platter; the wider end will form the base and the narrower end is at top.
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the sugar and whisk until completely incorporated into the butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the color of the sugar mixture is a deep golden brown. I like to keep it on the heat just until it begins to smoke - at which point I quickly remove it from the heat.
Whisking constantly, slowly pour the cream into the hot sugar mixture - be careful as it may sizzle and foam at the beginning. Continue to whisk until the cream is completely incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Be patient - this often takes a few minutes.
Add the vanilla and sea salt and stir well to incorporate them.
Cool slightly before serving. Extra portions can be placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or two - but it's unlikely to last that long.