I promised this recipe to a friend. There is nothing more comforting than a slice of warm apple cake on a brisk day. What I like about this recipe is the very high ratio of apples to cake, with nearly a kilo of apples glued together to vanilla-scented, soft-crumb cake. While the moreish Nutella is the headliner on this cake, the original recipe did not have any. Puritans may prefer without. Even better would be artisan or homemade gianduia but as a busy mum of three, I do recognise time and budget limitations as well as lack of availability of a good quality gianduia in many places in the world.
Hazelnuts are the natural bedfellow of autumn picked apples. The chocolate in the Nutella is another welcome treat and a strong lure to all children. I prefer to use bramley apples in this cake but any slightly tart baking apple is the perfect counterpart to the sweet chocolatey topping.
Torta di mele e Nutella (apple and Nutella cake)
This recipe is based on an apple cake I found on one of my favourite Italian food blogs- Ricetta dal Mondo. Apple cake is a classic in many Italian homes, traditionally baked by mothers and grandmothers. It can be served for dessert, breakfast or as a treat. For step-by-step illustrated instructions, click here.
10 grams breadcrumbs
3 large eggs, room temperature
200 grams sugar
150 grams butter, melted plus more for greasing the cake tin
200 mls whole milk, heated to tepid
300 grams 00 flour (can use cake flour or plain flour)
16 grams baking powder
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (can use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 envelope of vanilla powder)
900 grams apples, skin and core removed and sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
200 grams Nutella, melted
Preheat the oven to 175C. Butter the bottom and sides of a 26 cm spring-form cake tin. Coat the tin with breadcrumbs, tipping out any excess.
Mix the sliced apples with the lemon zest and juice and stir to combine.
Mix the eggs and sugar together using the whisk attachment on a mixture until it has turned foamy, white and has doubled or tripled in volume. Add the milk and butter to mixture and stir to combine. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredient mixture to the batter, folding through to combine. Add the apples to the batter and stir through. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes in the bottom third of the oven.
Heat the Nutella in the microwave or sit over a bowl of hot water to melt. Drizzle over the top of the half baked cake. Bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool if you can resist.