My first healthy and guilt-free Nusskranzkuchen got a thumbs up from all my guinea pigs (aka family and some friends)!! Since I bought my Austrian recipe book in Vienna, I had been eyeing this recipe in the book called Nusskranzkuchen. I altered some ingredients to make it lower in sugar. The original recipe called for icing sugar so I replaced it with coconut sugar and a couple of dates. The dates are optional though. The dates gave a chewy texture to the cake which I really liked!
Tip 1: For step 7, remember not to mix them in but to fold them in to prevent the air bubbles from bursting. The air bubbles keep the cake light and fluffy!
Tip 2: For an even prettier top, put the cake back into the oven after the cake has been turned out of the cake tin. Allow the almonds to colour and then sprinkle some icing sugar and more silvered almonds on top. The icing sugar will melt and act as a “glue” for the silvered almonds.
Tip 3: For a more chocolatey and no sugar option, use cacao nibs and dust the cake tin with cocoa powder. Before baking, the cacao nibs are hard but the baking process actually melts the cacao nibs and gives a very aromatic chocolate flavour. It’s healthy (high in antioxidants) so I highly recommend it! Make the dessert even more guilt-free.. why not?
Tip 4: Get creative with the toppings. Maybe drizzles of chocolate ganache? An apricot jam glaze and topped with roasted crushed nuts? After all, apricot jam (marille in Austrian German) is typically Austrian.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 200g butter
- 170g coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 large apples, grated or chopped (I used 4 small pears)
- 100g hazelnuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
- 80g chocolate (I used cacao nibs)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a dash of cinnamon
- 200g + 1 tbsp self raising flour (gluten free if necessary)
- 2 dates (optional)
- 1 tbsp silvered almonds
- cocoa powder for dusting of cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- Separate the eggs. Beat the butter together with the sugar and vanilla. Gradually add the egg yolks
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
- Peel and grate or chop. Slightly squeeze to remove some of the liquid.
- Chop the nuts roughly
- Mix the baking powder, cinnamon and flour together
- Gradually fold the apples, nuts, chocolate and flour to butter/egg yolk mixture (Step 2). Alternating with the egg whites.
- Grease the ring tin well (I used a bundt cake tin) with butter and dusted with flour and cocoa powder.
- To give it a pretty top, layer the base of the tin with silvered almonds. Then pour the cake mixture into the tin.
- Bake for 1 hour; checking at every 20-minute intervals. Use a skewer to poke in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
- Allow to the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Then, turn the cake out onto a wire rack and serve.
- Enjoy it hot with some custard or cream or even simply on its own!