Sunday, August 12, 2012

Apple Kuchen

The first Apple Streuselkuchen I made was more than a year ago.  It had a streusel topping and the dough was made in the bread machine. The dough was so fluffy and soft, and between both my daughter and myself, we finished half the loaf! So when I saw a recipe of Nigella's for Apple Kuchen, I knew that I wanted to try her version, which does not have a streusel but a topping of flaked almonds instead.

Just like all of Nigella's recipes, this is a winner!

I use about 2-1/2 medium Granny Smith apples.

Nigella mentioned that the dough can be mixed in the stand mixer or by hand. I chose to knead the dough by hand. 
1. Flour is mixed with salt, sugar and yeast. I use 2-1/4 cups of flour at the beginning, as recommended in the recipe, adding more later, if necessary.
2. The eggs are lightly beaten and mix into the lukewarm milk, together with vanilla, orange zest (original calls for lemon zest, which I do not have), and freshy grated nutmeg, stir to combine.
3. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir to combine. 

1. Add in the softened butter and knead to a dough,
2. I find that the dough is really wet
3. I then added in 1/4 cup of flour at a time, in total I used almost 3 cups of flour.

1.Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until they are smooth.
2. Cover loosely with an oiled cling wrap and leave to rise for about 1 to 1-1/4 hours until doubled in size.
3. Punch down the risen dough.

1. Spread the dough into the greased pan, size 12 x 8 inches, covering the base. Leave to rise for about 15-20 minutes. It will puff up a little. Brush the top of the dough with a mixture of beaten egg, freshly grated nutmeg and a little cream (I use milk).
2.Cover the dough with the chopped apples, and sprinkle the apples with a mixture of sugar and all-spice (I use ground cinnamon). Scatter some flaked almonds all over. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, turn down temperature to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.
3. Make the icing, stir together the confectioners' sugar and hot water. Drizzle icing all over the top. Then slice and .....

..... enjoy with a cup of coffee! This is so good! The bread is so soft and fluffy! Even with the icing, this cake is not sweet at all, just perfect! The apples has not gone totally soft, but has a light crunch which is so good with the crunchy fragrant almonds! 

Can you see the softness and fluffiness of the bread?

Yum! I had a big piece with a cup of coffee and later, another piece with a cup of tea! Great with both coffee or tea!

I'm sharing this with the following :

Apple Kuchen
(adapted from "How To Be A Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson)
Swiss-roll pan or rectangular baking dish approximately 12x8 inches
Serves 8
for the dough :
2-1/4 - 3 cups white bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon (I use grated zest from 1 orange)
good grating fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

for the topping :
2 Granny Smith apples
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cream (I use milk)
grating of fresh nutmeg
1 tablespoon demerara or turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice (I use 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds

for the icing :
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon hot water

Put 2-1/4 cups of the flour in a bowl with the salt, sugar, and yeast. Beat the eggs and add them, with the vanilla, lemon zest, and nutmeg, to the lukewarm milk. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, to make a medium-soft dough, being prepared to add more flour as necessary. I generally use about 2-2/3 cups, but advise you to start off with the smaller amount; just add more as needed. Work in the soft butter and knead by hand for about 10 minutes or half that time by machine. When the dough is ready it will appear smoother, and springier. It suddenly seems to plump up into glossy life.

Cover with a tea towel and leave till doubled (1 to 1-1/4 hours), or leave to rise slowly in a cold place overnight. Then punch down and press to line the pan. You may think it's never going to stretch to fill, but let it rest for 10 minutes or so mid-stretch, especially if the dough had a cold rise. When it's pressed out on the pan, leave it to rise for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel and core the apples and chop them finely; I use a processor but there's really no need. And you could use other apples, too, if your prefer; whatever you've got to hand; cooking apples can easily be substituted and are better if you want a pulpier covering.

When the dough's ready, beat the egg with the cream, grate over a little nutmeg and brush the top of the dough with this mixture. Cover the egg-glazed dough with the apples, then mix together the sugars and allspice and sprinkle over. Top with the flaked almonds and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Then turn down to 350F and cook for a further 15 minutes or so, until the dough is swelling and golden at the edges and cooked within.

Remove from the oven and make a runny paste with the sifted confectioners' sugar and the hot water. Spoon or trickle over the cake.

Leave to cool for about 15 minutes, then slice it, and eat while it's still warm and juicily, stickily fragrant.


  1. Soft and fluffy! I like the fruits topping. Bookmarked! Thanks!

  2. What a lovely way to start my Sunday, Joyce. Your Apple Kuchen looks heavenly. I wish I had a piece to go with my Sunday morning coffee.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  3. Guess what? I am SO making this. First of all, I never met a Nigella recipe I didn't like ;P ...and your photos solidified that! I love the flaked almond topping, especially. I always look forward to what you add to the BYOB bread basket, Joyce.

  4. Hi Joyce, you sure have a lot of temptations for us, your visitors, ha ha. This apple cake looks sinfully delicious!
    I can practically get the lovely scent too.....
    Bet your family enjoys having tea or after dinner dessert....every day a mystery dessert.
    Joyce, here's a recipe I love.....for you to try one day.

    Yield: 1 Servings

    1 c Vegetable shortening; crisco
    1 Margarine
    2 c Sugar
    6 Eggs
    2 c Cake flour
    1 ts Vanilla extract
    1 ts Butternut flavoring
    1 c Flaked coconut
    1 cn Crushed pineapple; small

    Drain pineapple and reserve the juice. Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs (one at a time).
    Add cake flour, vanilla, butternut flavoring, coconut and pineapple.
    Bake in a 10 inch tube pan for 1 hour and 25 minutes at 325 degrees.
    Icing: 2 c. sifted powdered sugar and juice from canned pineapple.

    Mix well with mixer. Pour over hot cake while still in pan.
    Then invite Lee from Canada come for coffee.
    Send me a telegram if you do....
    Have a nice day. Keep a song in your heart.

    1. Hi Uncle Lee,
      Thank you for the recipe! When I have baked it, I'll send a telegram to you! Have a lovely week!

  5. I love all Nigella recipes are amazing!
    And this kuchen look delicious; we really love kuchens here!:)

  6. It sure looks like a fluffy cake/bread Joyce. Very nice.

  7. Do you know how long I have wanted to make a fruit (apple) kuchen? A long time! And I know how well Nigella's recipes work. This looks so good. Thanks for baking with us for Twelve Loaves!


  9. I want to try this too! I love the fluffy texture of this dough!

  10. Loved this dessert preparation. Wonderful.

  11. I've been wanting to bake apple kuchen for 4 years, haha.
    Never got around doing it.
    Yours looks really nice and fluffy

  12. This is great, must try, bookmarked! TQ for sharing!

  13. Wonderful, I would like to taste a slice :)

  14. It looks lovely. Yeast cakes are very common over here.

  15. I love this apple looks so moist and delicious! I'm so glad you baked with us this month!!

  16. That looks great. The bread part looks so soft and fluffy. I like your orange zest addition too.

  17. super tasty ... !!!

    I have tried making them once, but the apples were too sour to get the right taste.. bookmarked this recipe for next attempt :)

  18. looks like this is a quicker way of making bread! now i know what kuchen is! next time i must make some kuchen in my kitchen :D

  19. Today, I learnt what is kuchen. :) It looks very soft and fluffy - doesnt look that difficult to make.

  20. Apples and almonds on a soft fluffy bread sounds wonderful to me! This seems easy too. I should try out Nigella's recipes sometime as I have seen so many raving about it.

  21. Eileen, Hundred Eighty DegreesMonday, August 13, 2012

    That's a good one! Soft and fluffy :)

  22. Delicious!! I have been wanting to try a kuchen for a while now, they just look so amazing! And yours is no exception!!! Awesome job!

  23. apple bread?? looks so good eh. soft & fluffy with apples on top....make a cup of kopi o to go wih!!

  24. Wow, that does look light, fluffy and delicious! Perfect for our apple season which is coming soon.

  25. Hi Joyce,

    I've not bake a kuchen before and yours looks wonderful. Not surprising that this is so good because it is a Nigella's recipe :D

    Always a Nigella fan, Zoe :D

  26. This looks so good! Yours turned out great. Thank you for sharing this with BYOB.

  27. Wow - your kuchen looks so delicious and the bread is so light and airy - YUM. I am pinning this to make this fall after we go apple picking :)

  28. That cake looks very inviting ! I would like some of that , too ! lol

  29. Hi everyone,
    Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to leave your valuable comments!
    Wish everyone a wonderful week!

  30. Look so good! I bet it tasted excellent and the texture is so soft. Yum!!

  31. This looks fabulous!! So light and delicious! I love kuchen…yours looks perfect!

  32. Love the texture & looks so good! I've never tried Apple Kuchen before & this is another recipe that I'm bookmarking! Looks so yummy! :)

  33. Yum, your kuchen looks delicious!

  34. One of my favorite cakes (it's very common in Germany). Switching allspice with cinnamon is a good idea. Good job!

  35. Any apple dish is delicious in my book!