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Irena's Nusskucken

Irena's Nusskucken

Westport, CT

Cake Batter
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup ground hazelnuts, toasted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved into the milk

Filling
4 apples (gala apples)
2 tablespoons apricot jam
zest of one lemon
juice of ½ lemon

Topping
1 cup (8 oz) melted dark chocolate. I prefer Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus Belgian chocolate


Directions

Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans. Pre-heat oven to 375˚.

Separate the eggs. In a glass or metal mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts. Dissolve the instant coffee into the warm milk. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Fold in a bit of the milk and then a bit of the flour mixture, alternately, adding a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour the cake batter evenly into two greased and floured 8” round cake pans. Bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes until cake is firm to the touch and has pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan. Gently turn onto a cake rack to cool.

Meanwhile, peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Place them in a shallow sauce pan with the apricot jam, zest of one lemon and lemon juice. Cover and cook until apples are soft; leave to cool. Spread the apple mixture on the first layer of cake. Place the top layer on the cake.

In a microwave safe dish, melt the chocolate pieces for about 2 minutes (checking every 30 seconds to prevent burning). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Spread on the top layer of cake letting some of the chocolate run down the sides.

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