For anyone in the know about German, Austrian or Swiss baking there is nothing more traditional than the Austrian branded “Stroh” rum. In all the years that I’ve lived in Belgium I had no idea they sold Stroh Rum here until joy of joys G. tells me it’s available in every supermarket store. So, when K.M asked me to make this rum and hazelnut cake for her 16th birthday a couple of weeks ago I had a great opportunity to hot-foot it down to the shop and buy a bottle.
Most of the alcohol will have been evaporated by the heat so that the only aspect of the rum remaining is the wonderful aroma of distilled cane sugar and the delightful structure of the finely grated hazelnuts. Perfect for an afternoon cup of tea or coffee and perfectly safe for children and young teen-agers to eat. It’s a cosy afternoon tea-cake as the night draw in and the days begin to shorten.
200 gr hazelnuts.
200 gr sugar.
200 gr softened butter.
200 gr white wheat flour.
100 ml of milk.
60 ml Stroh Rum (or any other delicious distilled alcohol you care to use whiskey, brandy, Armagnac).
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda.
Juice of a half a lemon.
Half an apple thinly sliced.
Baking time: 1 hour at 180 degrees Centigrade.
Pre-heat the oven. In a blender pulse the hazelnuts until they are grated as fine as possible. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together. When well mixed, add the flour, hazelnuts, rum, bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice and milk and blend into a soft batter. Pour the batter into a buttered loaf tin and lay the sliced apples on top.
Place the cake in the pre-heated oven and bake for one hour at 180 degrees centigrade. After half an hour when the cake is well risen cover the cake with tin foil to prevent the top from burning and bake for a further 30 minutes. Before removing from the tin check the cake is properly baked through by sticking a knife into the centre of the cake. When it comes out clean the cake is ready.