Apple Hazelnut Cake

I have had too little time lately. I find myself constantly chasing it. Time to do my chores or just time to dwell and most importantly time to bake and create. Having started a new job a couple of months back I find myself enveloped in all these new tasks that are sometimes occupying my mind even when work is technically over. I've always been a little perfectionistic and find it hard to let go and relax. The one thing that always helped with that was baking. I get so immersed in the process that all other thoughts get pushed out.

So when I finally overcame that numbing inertia that sometimes overtakes me on my days off work, and set out to bake a cake again, I was rewarded with a much deeper sense of relaxation than I could have gotten from lying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling (contemplating all the things I might and might not have done correctly). I guess it's the same old story: You know going for a run is really good for you but you can't seem to overcome your inner resistance, but when you do, you feel so great afterwards. And yet it's so hard to hold on to that feeling and remind yourself of it. So this is my reminder. Let go. Create. Bake. 

This cake is one of those thing's you can whip up really quickly and with ingredients you might already have in your pantry. Sweetened with dates and apples it's completely refined-sugar-free, yet resulting in a rich moistness. And butter. Yes. Lots of it. :-) 

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 550g apples
  • 200g medjool dates
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g white spelt flour
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 1,5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 0,5 tsp ground ginger
  • 0,5 tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut blossom sugar (or brown sugar)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. 

2. Peel and deseed the apple and roughly cut into pieces. Melt the butter, and using a (handheld) blender, puree the butter with the dates and the apple pieces. 

3. Separate the eggs and beat the egg-whites until they form stiff peaks. 

4. Mix together the flour with the butter-dates-mixture and the egg yolks. Mix until everything is well combined. 

5. Using a spatula very gently fold in the egg-whites. 

6. Scoop the batter into a lined cake tin. 

7. Bake for 40min. Then glaze the cake with the maple syrup and sprinkle on the chopped hazelnuts and coconut blossom sugar. Bake for another 10min. until the nuts are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.