Friday, September 16, 2011

Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake

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Sooo, Monday was my one month mensiversary. Yes. That's a word. I looked it up.

Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake 
Anyway, I was just minding my own business not really thinking about it, when I saw that Alyssa from Mom de Cuisine was awarded with a 'Versatile Blogger Award'. “Good for her!”, I thought. It's a great blog she has there with almost daily updates from sweet to savory. So she truly deserves it.

As I went through the list of bloggers she passed the award on to, I noticed something. There was one name I thought I misread. Could that be... MY name I saw there? WHOA! Yes? YES! How was that possible? I feel genuinely honoured, I do. As I said, I have only been a blogger for one month yet feel very passionate about it and hope to one day find my style and voice as one and develop my cooking and baking skills.

It's been a great month and hope for many more to come!

Thank you, Alyssa!

Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake

So, coming with this award are certain rules. I did a search about it and saw that there seem to be different ones. As I am so new to blogging, I chose the following:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Tell 7 random things about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 10 bloggers you've recently discovered and you think are fantastic!

Here we go:

Seven random things about me:

1. The only two Disney films that I like are the old Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins. I just don't get me to like Disney because I always felt like they ripped off other films and ideas (most of it was based on books and fairy tales to begin with, anyway) and many of the old ones had obvious racist implications. I could do a whole post about this so I'll leave it to that for now.

2. I hate spiders. Alright, that's not very creative. Many people hate spiders. It went so far with me that when I was a child, even the tiniest of those eight-legged monsters made me freeze and stare at it, fearing it would disappear once I manage to get the vacuum cleaner. It got better, though. Last year (pretty much exactly one year ago from today), there was an incident with a HUGE spider sitting right next to my pillow the moment I wanted to go to bed. Let's just say it was the first and last panic attack I've ever had with cold sweat and everything. After that kind of 'shock therapy', I'm a little more relaxed but still could not sleep in a room where I KNOW there is one.

3. I did an internship in London and fell in love with that city. The people, the mentality, the variety, the culture, the vibe. It comes so far that when the desire to get back becomes too strong, I go to that kind of strange tiny shop in a completely different part of the city I live in just to buy me a Crunchie for like 1€. You don't get those here. Oh, and while I'm German, my accent is British when I speak English. Apparently, I sound like a “posh British schoolboy”, so I've been told. Go figure....

4. If I was a girl, my name would be Julia. True story. My mother got the idea of calling me Tobias because of a football (soccer) match my brother had when he was 13. One boy who played in THE OTHER team was called Tobias and his friends where cheering him on yelling “TO-BY! TO-BY!”. She liked that so much that she gave me that name. Bless her heart.

5. I love animals but decided for me that I can never have a pet (anymore). I used to have a cat until she died about 3,5 years ago and it crushed my soul so deeply I still can hardly look at pictures of her. It's better for my own sake.

6. My very most favourite leaf vegetable was arugula... until I developed an allergy from one day to another. If I eat it now, my whole mouth and throat turn sore for a couple of days. Not worth it.

7. About two months ago, I bought a Joan Baez vinyl record. I don't even have a player. I just saw it when I passed a music store that also sells old vinyls and felt like it. I like her, yes, but am not obsessing over her or anything. These facts are supposed to be random and that is one of the most random things I bought, I guess.

About the bloggers...that really is a difficult task for me. I mean, I have only been a blogger for a month and being an active part of the blogging community is very new to me. Many of the blogs I would consider have already received the award, some may not really care. Because of those factors coming together here, I chose to pick 10 blogs I have recently discovered and think are great as opposed to 15 blogs in general. The rules vary and I found these to suit me better.
To be honest, I am a bit overwhelmed and feel like I am not quite up to the task. ;)

So here we go (in no particular order):

I am going to contact all of them as soon as possible although I have never spoken to some of them before. Awkward.

Now, there is still a recipe to post! I actually meant to post something completely different today, but because there is always cake when there is something to celebrate, I decided to bake one right this morning, especially for this occasion!

Autumn is right around the corner. That also means that harvest time is here. Do you want to see a picture of our apple trees? No Tobias, why should we? I knew you do! So here it is:

Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake

That means that I am going to post quite few apple recipes in near future because that is basically what I'll be baking with. Apples Apples Apples. Good thing I like them.

I am in love with this cake. It has an old timey sentiment to it and not only because both my grandmother and mother used to bake it. I leafed through my grandmother's old folder of recipes she “passed on” to me and tracked down the original. It was in a promotional calendar by “Dr. Oetker” from 1954! For the month of March, strangely. Not really a month I'd associate with apples. Dr. Oetker is a well-established food processing company which also publishes cookbooks and has many other things in its portfolio. Their book “Schulkochbuch” had an impact on German cooking similar to Julia Child's in the US.

Anyway, I changed the recipe quite a bit to give it a more seasonal touch and because I simply adore the combination of apples and cinnamon. I prefer this version to the original. However, I leave it up to you to decide which one you like better.

Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake

Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake

  • 1 package vanilla pudding mix (not instant, the kind you need to cook. Can be substituted with 45g or 1.6 oz. starch flour and 1 ts vanilla essence)
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 150g (5.3 oz.) butter
  • 150g (5.3 oz.) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250g (8.8 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 9g (0.3 oz. or about 1 1/2 ts) baking powder
  • 500g (17.6 oz.) apples, peeled and sliced

My personal changes and additions:
  • I only used 150g all-purpose flour and substituted 100g (3.5 oz.) with ground hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 ts of cinnamon for the batter (because apples and cinnamon are HEAVEN)
  • 2 handfuls of slightly crushed hazelnuts (I did that in a mortar but a freezer bag or even just cloth and anything heavy works just as well)
  • Mixture of about 5 ts of demerara sugar and 1 ts of cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F)
  2. Stir pudding mix with milk.
  3. Beat butter until creamy, add sugar, eggs and salt little by little.
  4. Mix flour and baking powder (substitute 100g flour with ground hazelnuts and add cinnamon if you want to try my version), add to the batter alternately with pudding mix.
  5. Spread half the batter into a greased 24cm (about 9'') spring form pan. Lay out half of the sliced apples.
  6. Sprinkle with half of the demerara/cinnamon mix and a handful of slightly crushed hazelnuts (all optional)
  7. Spread remaining batter onto apples, lay out remaining apples. Add rest of demerara and hazelnuts (optional again).
  8. Bake on centre rack for about 55 minutes (my version took about 60 minutes).


Oh right. This is what the calendar looks like:
Hazelnut Apple Sheet Cake

Wow, this post took so long to write I had to push it back a day.


  1. Tobias actually i was awarding to you too today,so now you got two award,ha,,ha,, :) i was not in to blog for few days,so i didn't know someone pass it along award to me,until this morning, so you are one of them, that i passing along this award,but anyway congrats on your award,btw this cake look delicious,,,yum and buzzed ya

  2. Tobias, I am not surprised that you received an award because you are truly good. I love the pictures of this new cake you posted. Thanks for passing too!

  3. Really beautiful photographs...and the staging - gorgeous! I'm clicking to follow you now (but, not like stalking you or anything...tee hee hee)
    Thanks for such a lovely blog!

  4. Congrats on the award! Your cake does have some of my favorite complimentary ingredients-apples and hazelnuts. No doubt as delicious as it is stunning. Yum!

  5. Congrats on the award!

    That cake looks amazing...I'll be trying that one out for sure!!

  6. I love Alice in Wonderland :D

    The cake looks divine. Probably tasted divine too!

  7. Wow - what a beautiful cake...I LOVE vintage recipes! Also congratulations on your month-i-versary and the award!

  8. Such a gorgeous kind of cake. The hazel nuts will certainly add a bit of cracky twist here.

  9. I just found you thru a link from Browneyed Baker. This cake looks wonderful! Dr. Oetker brand still makes a product that you add to whipping cream to make it keep its firmness longer. My aunt gave me some & it is great. Might look for it & serve it with your mother's /grandmother's cake. Happy blogging Toby...Toby!

    Martha in KS

  10. This cake sounds absolutely divine.

  11. I love this recipe ! I use Dr. Oetker vanilla sugar all of the time though there must be a cheaper 'homemade' version out there somewhere...(idea)
    delicious, beautifully photographed. congrats to you !
    btw: I AM a girl, and would love to change my name to Julia, or Diana...anything but what it is ! denise

  12. Ridwan, thank you SO much! Two awards in a few days is great and congrats and yours as well!

    Debbi, 'not like stalking me' hahaha it sometimes feels like many bloggers are stalking one another excessively (but in a good way lol), doesn't it? ;)

    Ann, I LOVE vintage recipes, too!

    Martha, it's "Sahnesteif" you are talking about! Yes, Dr. Oetker invented that. ;) I've noticed about The Brown Eyed Baker and am very happy and it's an honour.

    Denise, where are you from? Vanilla I was told that vanilla sugar is rather rare in the US. You can keep the scraped out vanilla pods/beans when you use the seeds and stick them in a pod of sugar to make it yourself! It's great because you get to use every part of this rather expensive ingredient. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with 'Julia'. And neither is there anything wrong with Denise!

    Everyone: Thank you SO MUCH for you kind comments! You are all AWESOME! ;)


  13. What a beautiful cake, I am going to make this on Sunday. It looks perfect for afternoon tea. Hazelnuts really sold it for me! Thank you for the recipe and nice work on your first month of blogging!

  14. What a breathtaking cake and your photos are extraordinary. I love hazelnut, particularly at its peak of freshness... yum!

  15. Mmmm now this is a cake that calls to me. I do love apple season.

    The ground hazelnuts are an excellent addition.

  16. Congrats Tobias! You deserve the award. I love your blog and am so glad I came across it! It was great learning about you through your 7 things. Alice in Wonderland happens to be a favorite of mine as well!
    This recipe looks amazing (love the addition of hazelnuts) and your photos are stunning (as usual)

  17. Don't be shy! Talking to random people has to be one of the best things about this blog malarkey. Thanks for the award and will post my randomness asap!

    The hazelnut apple cake looks gorgeous by the way. Wonder if custard powder would be a good substitute for the vanilla pudding mix, given that it's a thickener too? Plus, since you've got the Bird's open, you might as well make a big jug to pour over... mmmm...

  18. Congratulations on your first award! My first award was given by Beth Michelle (above) and I still remember. I was thrilled and didn't even know how to write 7 things and it was difficult to pick someone who didn't get award (since I was new just like you). I had fun reading more about you and what you like/dislike! We often talk about food so it's nice to know the person behind the blog. :-) The this cake looks delicious! And I love your cover shot. It's beautiful!!! p.s. again envious of your garden! ;-)

  19. I finally wrote the random things but I am seriously stuck with the blogs to pick!

  20. Zoë, ha! You are right about the shyness. That "Hey you! You don't know me but here's an award! Have fun!" thing felt a bit weird at first so it crept over. I'm happy you like the award and substituting the pudding mix with custard mix sounds like it worth a try. Don't see why it should make big of a difference. However, dropping a dollop (or two...or it a big faux pas to just dip in in there?) over it suddenly seems like a must-do to me next time! Can't wait for your random things!

    Nami, yes. While it was fun sharing things about me (should do that more often haha), coming up with seven at once that I thought were at least slightly interesting was a bit of a challenge. ;) Kudos to you and the three times (I know of) you did it!

    Everyone, THANK YOU so MUCH for the congratulations! New post is hopefully going to be up tomorrow!

  21. Happy Anniversary!! It's 1am and I'm barely awake so will reread your blog again when I'm more awake and coherent. But loving the posts and photos! Looking forward to many many more to come. (By the way...maybe we could trade places for a day...I'm discovering more and more German stuff that are absolutely adorable and I can't find them in England!)

  22. Congrats on your award and thanks so much for passing on to me. Love your photos and this recipe even more. Love apple desserts--this one's a winner!

  23. What an absolutely delightful cake, and yes we wanted to see the apple tree :)And congratulations on your first #7 and I am so there with you on spiders ;)


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