Danish apple cake (Æblekage)

Danish apple cake


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I was recently lucky enough to be given a couple of carrier bags of Bramley apples from a neighbour and also managed to forage some dessert apples from a recent trip out kayaking! So what to make?

Well, for some time now I have been meaning to make my mother’s Æblekage, which translated from Danish means apple cake. It’s not really a cake though, as there is no baking involved; it’s more like a trifle-type dessert minus the cake and custard! It is often served in the afternoon with coffee and does solidify like a cake when left in the fridge.

My mum has been making Æblekage for as long as I can remember and I think most Danes have their own way of making it. Some use breadcrumbs or even crushed macaroons in the layers but this version uses toasted oats which are coated in butter and sugar. Many versions also use only dessert apples but there is a nice contrast to be had when using Bramleys too, in both texture and flavour.

The stewed apple doesn’t want to be sweet but the sugar is just there to take away the tartness from the Bramleys. The crunchy sweet layer of oats contrasted with the apples and cream make for a delicious dessert and the grated chocolate is just my mum’s indulgent addition.

I have made enough for 8 servings as personally I like to have enough dessert for the next day (and it’s so good) but you could always halve the quantity.

Traditionally, Danish apple cake is served in a crystal bowl, but can also be made in individual goblets if you prefer (fab for dinner parties). This is a very budget friendly dessert especially at this time of year when apples are in plentiful supply and there are lots of offers out there!

I don’t think my mum has ever measured anything out for her Æblekage as most of her recipes are just done from her head and by eye. This is therefore my interpretation and after asking my son to compare the two versions he said mine was spot on – job done!

  • 500g of Bramley apple
  • 500g of Cox's apples, or some other dessert apples
  • 3 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 50g of unsalted butter
  • 200g of jumbo rolled oats
  • 125g of granulated sugar
  • 300ml of whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp of plain chocolate, grated
Fill a large saucepan with water then peel, core, and finely slice the apples, adding the apples to the pan as you work. Empty out the water but for 1 tbsp and stew the apples with the sugar and vanilla sugar with a lid on until tender, for about 10–15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool
Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a large frying pan and add the granulated sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the butter and sugar has turned into a caramel (this will take a few minutes) stir in the oats until they are golden and toasted, taking care that they don't burn. Set aside and allow to cool
Finally, whip the cream and place half of the apple mixture into a bowl, followed by half of the toasted oats. Repeat and finish off with a layer of cream and flaked chocolate
Serve straight away or chill until needed
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