Cream poofs and Apple Nut Coffee Cakes

It was a Sunday and the day right after I graduated from college. I was feeling rather energetic upon waking up. Initially I just planned on trying this cream puff recipe I found online. But after that did not work out, I decided to make some Apple Nut Coffee Cakes with the leftover Granny Smith’s in the fridge.

I had made this coffee cake before in a round tin using a pistachio topping, although the original recipe called for walnuts. I am not particularly fond of walnuts so pistachios are always a more welcome option to me. Not only do they provide a contrast in color to the cake tops, they also taste a lot better than walnuts.

It took my family a single day to devour the whole pistachio-topped cake. That same day was my graduation rehearsals, and I was gone the whole day oblivious to the fact that my cake was being eaten without me being able to take a good picture! At least they remembered me enough to leave me a slice.

When I made the cake a second time, I had run out of pistachios and just happened to have a bag of walnuts lying around, so I used those instead and baked the cake on loaf pans. The cake in itself without the topping taste very good and is very moist, and was certainly a hit even with the most picky of my brothers.

Apple Nut Coffee Cake
This moist and soft cake is slightly sweetened by bits of apple, with an added crunch provided by your choice of nut used for the topping.

Makes one 10 x 2-inch springform pan or two 8 x 3 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans
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For the topping
  1. 1 cup finely chopped pistachios/walnuts
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  5. 2 tablespoons butter, softened
For the cake
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 1 cup sour cream
  10. 2 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apples
Prepare the topping
  1. 1. In a bowl, combine nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Add the butter and crumble with your fingers until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Cover with foil or plastic wrap, and chill until ready to use.
To make the cake
  1. 2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and flour your pans [I like to grease and flour my pans, cover them with parchment paper, and grease and flour the paper again]. Make sure to butter the corners.
  2. 3. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. 4. In a mixer, cream the butter with sugar until mixture becomes light and fluffy, about a minute or two. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the sifted flour mixture alternately with the sour cream in three parts. Remove bowl from the mixer and fold in apples.
  4. 5. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and smooth out for a more even rise. I suggest not filling the pans to the brim to allow some space for the batter to rise to the top of the pan, retaining the shape of the cake/bread. Sprinkle evenly with the nut topping.
  5. 6. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Adapted from Yummy Magazine
Adapted from Yummy Magazine
The Tummy Train

And there you go! This fragrant, moist cake is best enjoyed with coffee or tea. It also keeps well in the fridge inside in a airtight container for a few days (although ours didn’t last that long).

My cream puffs unfortunately did not end up looking like cream puffs, and I realized just how disorganized the instructions on the recipe I found were as I reread the instructions while making the choux pastries. The author most probably forgot to put in some details, because I followed the instructions pretty well and yet my cream puffs did not puff up into a round shape. They were flat and hollow inside that my cousin suggested I call them stuffed cookies.

In any case, when I stuffed the empty shells with custard filling, they turned out pretty delicious still. I will post a recipe as soon as I find one that provides me with better instructions. I have to go find out what it was I missed the first time.



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