Hygge (pronounced ‘who-guh’) is a Scandanavian concept celebrating a feeling of comfort and joy, leading to a wonderful sense of calm and serernity. Discover your Hygge with our gorgeous little book of the month 'ScandiKitchen: The Essence Of Hygge', packed with indulgent treats to help you enjoy the moment. We've selected our favourite recipe from our Book Of The Month to share with you, so pull on your favourite wooly jumper, get cozy and bake!
Apple & Cinnamon Cake
There a many different kinds of ‘Real Scandinavian’ Apple Cakes out there. Truth be told, there are as many ‘real recipes’ for apple cakes as there are people who bake them. This is a cake my mother used to bake when I was a kid, using apples from the garden. At the café, we added a layer of crème pâtissière to it for a bit of extra scrumptiousness. This is one of the most popular cakes at the café.
- 150g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or extract
- 4 eggs
- 200g plain flour or cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 150g Crème Pâtissière
- pouring cream, to serve (optional)
- a 23-cm springform or round cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment
- 500ml whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla pod/bean
- 2 eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 30g cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 25g butter
- 25g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- a sprinkling of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1-cm cubes
First, make the topping. In a saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and cinnamon and add the salt and vanilla extract. Add the chopped apple and stew for a few minutes to lightly start the cooking process, then take off the heat and allow to cool completely. This can be done a day in advance.
Meanwhile, make the Crème Pâtissière. Heat the milk in a saucepan together with the scraped out vanilla seeds. Add the whole pod/bean to the pan, too, for extra flavour.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornflour and salt. When the milk reaches boiling point, remove the vanilla pod and discard, and pour a quarter of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you do so. Once whisked through, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk, return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Let it bubble for just under a minute. Make sure you whisk as it thickens.
Remove from the heat and add the butter, whisking in well. Pour into a cold bowl, then cover the top with a sheet of baking parchment to prevent a hard edge from forming as it cools down. Place in the fridge to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) Gas 4.
To make the cake, cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla sugar or extract together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add to the butter and sugar mixture in three stages, whisking all the time. Ensure that all the egg is fully incorporated before adding more or the batter will curdle.
In a third bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Sift into the wet mixture and carefully fold in until fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly to the sides. Dollop the crème pâtissière on top and spread out evenly over the batter.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the apple from its syrup and scatter over the crème pâtissière. Reserve the syrup for drizzling over the cake once baked.
Bake in the preheated oven for around 50 minutes – it can be tricky to tell if the cake is done because the crème pâtissière will remain a bit wet, but if a skewer comes out clean, it should be baked inside.
Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly before eating.
Enjoy with cream, if you so wish – and pour over some of the leftover syrup for added oomph (I like to add a little more salt to the syrup – it really lifts it).