Apple and Thyme cake with hazelnut crumb
Apples are in season and other than sinking your teeth into a crisp, cold apple it’s nice to incorporate them into a dessert. This is a French style simple cake that French women may cook at home. As you know, at least when it comes to Parisian women, they never cook desserts at home. I hear that they buy it at a pastry shop and show their expertise by finding the best possible patisserie. Well, there is no shortage of those in Paris so it can’t be that difficult.
I make this cake a few different ways, this time with fresh thyme leaves tossed in with the apples and caramelized apples and candied hazelnuts on top. If you want, you can just leave the top plain and sift powdered sugar over.
The cake is simple to make, basically apples held together with a light sponge. I flavour it with a bit of Grand Marnier.
Enjoy and don’
t forget a scoop of ice cream or a good dollop of whipped cream, it’s the law.
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, rook temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 small honey crisp apples
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1 apple, diced + 2 tablespoons sugar + 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup hazelnuts + 1 tablespoon sugar
Butter and 9″ round cake pan with removable bottom and line the bottom with parchment round. Butter the parchment as well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Cut the two apples into small dice, about 1/4-1/2″. Add the thyme leaves and set aside.
Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time and mix until smooth and sugar is melted into the batter.
Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier and mix it in.
Add flour to the butter mixture using a spatula and mix, folding the flour in.
Fold in the apples but do not over mix.
Scoop batter into the cake pan and sprinkle the top with the 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Bake in a 350ºF for 40 minutes or until done. Cake is done when the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Place on a cake stand and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Apple and hazelnuts topping:
Combine apple sugar and water in a small skillet and cook until sugar melts and apples caramelized.
Candied hazelnuts: Combine nuts and sugar in a small skillet and cook until sugar melts and coats the nuts. Let cool, then chop in food processor.
Spoon the candied hazelnuts on top of the cake and scatter the candied apples around in small clumps.
Garnish with additional sprigs of fresh thyme.
Serve with vanilla flavoured whipped cream.