only the chosen ones can be admitted into the realms of the beautiful


“But beauty is of higher value than all this,” said the apple-tree branch; “only the chosen ones can be admitted into the realms of the beautiful. There is a difference between plants, just as there is a difference between men.”

excerpt of The Conceited Apple-Branch

By Hans Christian Andersen (1852)


Many, many years ago, …. it was a Thursday …. and it was December 5 …. at 17:05 my dream became reality. “I AM GOING TO AMERICA” …. it was everybody’s dream, or so I thought at the time. It had to be …. !! I was in my VERY early twenties and there I was on my way …. first stop-over New York City …. and then into the deep South …. Wyatt Earp country ….

The Dessert Lover's Cook BookThe first cook book I purchased with my first hard-earned green-back was The Dessert Lover’s Cook Book by Marlene Sorosky. I dished out a hefty 22.50 at the time, which was unheard of for a cookbook. But I paid anyway ….

It has been nearly thirty years since I have this book, and I used it regularly over the years. But one of the recipes stands out. I am using it to this very day in various adaptations. On page 35 there is a recipe called Hot Apple Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce. It was quickly turned into Hot Apple Cake with Caramel Walnut Sauce, and then just Hot Apple Walnut Cake, and finally Apple-Walnut Pudding … very English … indeed ….

wa'ple crumble

The dessert ‘Wa’ple Crumble’ by ChefThomas, from the menu at the ‘MZAAR IntContinental Mountain Resort and spa’, which has the ‘Hot Apple Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce’ as a basis.

But the other day I fell right onto the gorgeous pictures of Virginia‘s blog BEL’OCCHIO, and the Apple Walnut Cakeblog in particular.

…. and the rest is history Apple Cake ….



Apple Walnut Cake

by Mrs Butterfingers


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup smooth homemade or store-brought applesauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Walnut topping (recipe follows)





  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment and butter the parchment.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to blend.
  4. Come the butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer. Beat with K blade on medium spread until combined (but not fluffy), scraping the bowl as needed, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined and scraping the bowl as needed.
  6. Add about one-third of the flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined.
  7. Add the applesauce, mixing on low until just incorporated and scraping the bowl as needed.
  8. Mix in another third of the flour mixture,then the sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture.
  9. Mix after each addition just until incorporated. DON’T OVER MIX.
  10. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  11. Bake until the edges of the cake are slightly set and the rest is very jiggly, about 15 minutes.
  12. Scatter the walnut topping evenly over the cake and bake until the crumbs are golden brown, the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, a a toothpick inserted in the center has a few moist crumbs sticking to it, 30 to 335 minutes.
  13. Check the cake early and if the crumbs are golden but the caked isn’t fully baked, cover loosely with foil.
  14. Let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.
  15. Serve warm.
  17. /4 pound (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  18. /2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  19. /2 cup granulated sugar
  20. /4 tsp cinnamon
  21. cup all-purpose flour
  22. generous cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  23. Melt the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan.
  24. Pour into a medium sized bowl.
  25. Add the brown and white sugar, and the cinnamon and stir until blended.
  26. Add the flour and the walnuts mixing with your fingers until combined. The mixture should be crumbly but also clump together.
  27. Refrigerate until ready to use.


…. et voilà


Two points though ….

  1. Make your own applesauce ….. you’ll know why when you eat the cake
  2. and, I had put a layer of sliced apples under the topping, for extra ‘applenes


…. Apple Walnut Cake, Virginia ?!?!






Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

7 thoughts on “only the chosen ones can be admitted into the realms of the beautiful

  1. Chef Thomas I am off to the kitchen to peel apples and make another apple walnut cake. Putting the slices of apples UNDER the topping is sheer brilliance! Virginia


    1. The story is mine, and true, but the recipe belongs to someone else ….. but it tasted soooo goood
      …. cooking sombody elses recipes is like going on an expedition …. it should never end ….


  2. I have so many apples left over from months ago (from our orchard) and been wanting to do something with them! thanks for a great read!


    1. … wel, looks like you will be making lots of people happy really soon, … happy peeling and Bon Appetit, .. just wish a was a bit closer for a tasting session … 🙂


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