Sticky Apple Cakes w/ Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream

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As the time for Husband to get home from his deployment draws nearer (yay!), I find myself seeking out more interesting recipes and found this one in my copy of The Organic Seasonal Cookbook by Liz Franklin. This has to be in my top 3 recipes I’ve discovered since he left. It doesn’t require any kind of crazy cooking skills but it’s a premium recipe. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with their ice cream maker attachment that my fabulous hubbie got me for Christmas, but Liz also gives instructions for those without an ice cream maker. The only warning: you will most definitely make a mess of your kitchen…at least I did, haha. It was, however, completely worth it.

Ingredients:

Sticky Apple Cakes

  • 1 1/4 stick butter, plus extra for greasing
  • generous 1/2 cup dark brown solidly packed sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • scant 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cooking apples, cored and diced
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup (for topping)

Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream

  • 1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
  • scant 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Instructions

1. For the ice cream, put 1/2 cup of the superfine sugar and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Increase the heat and bubble the mixture until it develops a dark amber color. Stire in the hazelnuts. Turn the mixture immediately onto a greased (I used a parchment paper lined) baking sheet. Leave until completely cold, then break into very small pieces.

3. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat to boiling point. Beat the eggs and the remaining superfine sugar together in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Pour the hot milk over the eggs and whisk until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and stir over very low heat until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Removed from heat, then stir in the cream and let cool. Transfer to an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions until almost frozen. Freeze until ready to serve. (My ice cream maker still required the mixture to be frozen an additional 4-7 hours, so be sure to read ahead and know how long it will really be before it’s ready to serve.)

[Alternatively, pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze until almost solid. Remove from the freezer and beat until smooth to prevent the formation of ice crystals. Stir in the hazelnut praline. Return to the freezer and freeze until solid. Remove the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving, to soften a little.]

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet and 6 ramekins or 2/3 cup ovenproof basins. (I found that the recipes actually makes enough to fill a full (12 tin) muffin pan).

5. Beat the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the eggs. Sift the flour and baking soda together into the bowl and beat until smooth. Add the apples. Fill the prepared ramekins or basins (or muffin tin) to three-quarters full with the mixture, and set on a baking sheet (or not, if you use the muffin tin).

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes (at this elevation here in Colorado Springs, it only took 20 minutes), or until risen and firm. Let cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto individual serving plates. Drizzle each cake with a tablespoon of maple syrup and serve immediately with the ice cream

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