Tuesday 5 April 2016


You can tell from the name alone that we are back in European cake land. This time it's a hazelnut cake with an apple filling, from Mary Berry's Baking Bible. It's not that complex a cake, but as I found out, it's reasonably hard to make it look pretty. It's one of those ones where at the end of it, I had a list of things I'd do differently.

1) There is not enough cake in my opinion. It's a 2-egg mixture (albeit one that is split, and the whites whisked up to a foam) for a 20cm tin. I would do a 3-egg mixture, and increase all the other ingredients accordingly.

2) Having tasted it, more hazelnuts. For a cake which translates as "nut cake", there is really only a hint of flavour of hazelnuts at the end. Alternately, maybe some hazelnut praline in with the apple?

3) Speaking of apple, probably too much. This might be my interpretation of the recipe...it calls for 450g of cooking apples, which are then peeled, cored and sliced. I weighed the end slices instead, and it could be that the recipe took into account the wastage.

4) Never, never cover a cake in pure chocolate, as it doesn't cut. I could change the pure chocolate to a ganache, to make serving far easier.

All that aside, the tartness of the apples is very pleasant...I think if the cake:apple ratio was re-jigged a little, then it could be very nice. I could see if being done "posh", with a cake the same width as an apple, and slices of apple layered in the middle.

Nusskuchen - Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 170'C
  • Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin

Cake Ingredients

  • 50g blanched hazelnuts
  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1tsp coffee granules
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • (optional) ½tsp cream of tartar
Note - Personally, if I was doing this again I'd increase everything by 50%. It might need a little more cooking, but you'll get a better proportioned cake

1) Put the butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attached

2) Cream the butter and sugar until very soft and light

3) Beat in the egg yolks

4) Put the hazelnuts in a food processor with the blade attachment, and grind to fine pieces

5) Add the hazelnuts into the stand mixer bowl, and combine

6) Heat the milk, and dissolve the coffee in it

7) Add the milk and coffee to the stand mixer bowl, and combine

8) Add the flour to the stand mixer bowl, and combine

9) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. You can, if you want, add some cream of tartar to help the foam form

10) Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the rest of the mixture. You'll need to add it in small parts to slowly loosen the mixture (if you add it all at once, you'll lose all the air).

11) Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin

12) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, and springy to the touch

13) Remove to a wire rack to cool. After a few minutes, remove from the tin

Filling Ingredients

  • 450g cooking apples
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1) Peel and core the apples, then slice thinly

2) Place the sliced apples, with the jam and lemon juice and zest, in a large pan

3) Place on a low heat with the lid on to cook slowly. Stir occasionally.

4) Once the apples have turned soft, but still hold their shape, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely


  • 50g plain (40%) chocolate

1) Slice the cake in half horizontally, to form 2 discs

2) Layer the cooled filling on top of one disc

3) Gently place the second disc on top of the filling

4) Melt the chocolate over a soft heat

5) Pour the chocolate over the cake, and allow to set