Whether served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, crème anglaise or simply a dollop of Greek-Style vanilla yogurt, this apple hazelnut cake will satisfy your sweet tooth. What I love most is the contrast in texture of the crisp, buttery top and the moist interior.
I flavored the cake with Red Delicious apples. I chose this particular variety because of their firmness and beautiful bright red color. I usually use them in salads or eat them as is but they also work well in these baked goods.
The girls have been working out hard this week and asked if they could break their healthy routine with some sweets. I'm so happy they decided to join me in my workout routine and thought they deserved a little reward. They're teenagers after all. As you can probably tell by our meals, we don't really diet, though I try to find healthier alternatives as long as they don’t sacrifice flavor. After enjoying these treats, the girls and I hit the gym and enjoyed 30 minutes of pure Stairmaster fun!
Servings: 6 servings
2 Red Delicious apples
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup hazelnuts, peeled
1½ tablespoons baking powder
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and softened
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons powdered sugar, for dusting
For the hazelnut cake:
Coarsely chop the peeled hazelnuts and place them in a mini-food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds until they're coarsely chopped. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, butter, nutmeg, salt and granulated sugar. Mix using the back of a fork (or a stainless-steel pastry blender) until it forms sandy crumbs of butter, sugar and flour. Slowly add buttermilk and blend until it forms a barely wet dough. Do NOT over-mix. Cover with a towel and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Prepping the apples: Core and finely dice the apples (no need to peel). Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent oxidation. Set aside.
Grease 6 7¾-ounce ramekins with butter. Cover the bottom of the ramekins with 2 teaspoons chilled dough. Add a handful of finely diced apples. Top with the dough and spread an even layer. Add more apples (simply alternate dough and diced apples) and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 18 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Set aside.
Insert a dollop of ice cream or yogurt in the center of the dessert and dust with a little powder sugar.
Serve warm with a hot cup of tea.
The buttermilk provides the moist element to the eggless cake. You could use other liquids such as regular cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc.
This dessert can be prepared in advance and baked at the last minute.