This post has been a long time coming. These pictures were taken in July 2012 in Norway and I have just simply not gotten round to posting about this fabulous recipe. I have in fact taught it to two different families in SA already and made it for the Spier Secret Supper but just haven't blogged about it yet.
I stumbled across the pictures just now and got swept away in the heart stopping beauty of Norway again. What a magical place. And this recipe, even though it is Danish in origin is a rich and textured reminder of the flavors of Scandinavia.
Apple cakes are hardly uncommon in South Africa, but this recipe is so totally different. Making the batter with ground hazelnuts changes the flavour in a way which just takes this simple cake to a whole new level.
Danish hazelnut and apple cake
Makes one large cake
For the filling
700g of apples; peeled, cored and cut into slices
100ml of apple juice
50ml of apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp of vanilla essence
1 Tbsp of honey
For the cake batter
400g of hazelnuts
200g butter, at room temperature
375g of treacle sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
100g of cake flour
¼ tsp of salt
Combine all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and allow them to stand until ready for use. Toss occasionally so that apples marinade well in the added flavourings.
Pre-heat your oven to 170˚C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Pulse the hazelnuts in the blender until they form a rough powder, not too fine. In a large mixing bowl add the hazelnuts, butter and sugar. Using a cake mixer, combine well. Add the eggs one at a time, blending until well combined before adding the next egg. Sift in the flour and salt and combine.
Pour the batter into a well greased and lined spring form cake tin (about 25cm in diameter). You could also use a quiche tin or pie dish (but then you should not line the tin). Arrange the apples over the batter and press the apples lightly so that they start to sink into the batter. Reserve any of the juices from the apples for later.
Bake the cake for about 60 minutes. If the cake starts to brown on the top too much, cover it with foil. The cake should be golden brown on top. As soon as the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and place it on a cooler rack. Drizzle with the remaining juice from the apples. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the spring form or quiche tin. If using a pie dish, you can serve the cake in the pie dish.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.