hazelnut and apple cake

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hazelnut and apple cake

The apple purée, flavoured with Calvados, makes a tangy filling for this delicious nutty cake. You will need a 20cm round ​cake tin.


Serves 8

Oil, to grease
110g skinned hazelnuts
110g caster sugar
55g butter
4 eggs, plus 1 extra white, at room temperature
100g plain flour

For the filling
2 cooking apples, about 300g in total
10g butter
Small strip of thinly pared lemon zest
3 tbsp Calvados
55-85g soft light brown sugar

To finish
Icing sugar, to dust


  1. To make the filling, wash, quarter and core the apples (do not peel), then slice thinly.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat, then add the apples, lemon zest and Calvados. Cover and cook over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally, until completely soft. Push through a sieve into a measuring jug.
  3. Return the measured purée to the rinsed out pan and add at least 55g to 600ml purée. Cook rapidly for about 4 minutes until the mixture reaches a dropping consistency, Remove from the heat and leave the apple purée to cool completely.
  4. Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Lightly oil the cake tin and line the base with a disc of greaseproof paper.
  5. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Tip onto a plate to cool, then finely grind in a food processor with 1 tbsp of the sugar.
  6. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, then remove from the heat and leave to cool until tepid.
  7. Separate the whole eggs into 2 bowls, adding the extra white to the yolks. Using an electric whisk , whisk the egg yolks and single white with all but 1 tbsp of the remaining sugar, until pale and creamy.
  8. Whisk the remaining egg whites until stiff, then whisk in the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
  9. Pour the cooled butter around the edge of the egg yolk mixture. Sift over the flour, add the ground hazelnuts and fold in carefully using a large metal spoon or spatula. Carefully fold in the whisked egg whites.
  10. Pile the mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes until firm to the touch and just shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
  11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little in the tin before carefully removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Peel off the lining paper.
  12. Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally and sandwich together using the apple filling. Dredge the top of the cake with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.


If you prefer a richer filling, whisk 250ml double cream with 1 tbsp icing sugar and 1 tbsp Calvados until it holds its shape and use this in place of the apple filling.

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