apple chocolate & hazelnut crumble
The story behind this week’s installment from the stonesoup kitchen is embarrassingly simple. One of those stories where a lot more luck, rather than good design was involved. Not so exciting really, until you taste the end product, and believe me this is no ordinary end product.
A couple of weeks ago I was making plans for a Saturday evening dinner and rather uncharacteristically was having a bit of and indecisive moment in settling on dessert. I’d narrowed it down to two choices. On one hand a rustic rhubarb crumble all hearty and wintery and on the other a more elegant yet decadent hot chocolate soufflÃ©.
When I questioned my guests the crumble did win, but there was also strong support for something chocolatey so I thought why not liven things up in crumble land with a few chunks of molten chocolate goodness, a treat just below the crumble layer.
Of course when it came to the procurement part of the day there was not a bunch of rhubarb to be found, even the pears were looking pretty sad. But apples? The golden delicious started talking to me and soon the crumble had morphed into an apple and chocolate deal.
To be honest I wasn’t so sure that apple and chocolate could really be friends but by this time there weren’t any other options. But I’m happy to report that baked apple and chocolate are old mates from way back who got along fameously (but fresh green apple and chocolate? another story entirely).
The thinly sliced baked apple gives a lovely backdrop for an intensely oozy chocolate hit and with a super crunchy modern crumble topping with the combined forces of chunks of hazelnut and coarsely crystalled demerra sugarâ€¦â€¦.we’re talking all good things.
apple, chocolate & hazelnut crumble
This is my new favourite crumble topping. I used to be a fan of rolled oats but have since decided that simple is best. All you need is flour, butter and demerera sugar which has a large crystal size that gives the crumble a lovely super crunchy texture.
The other secret to good rustic crumble texture is to skip the food processor and work it by hand. More effort but trust me, well worth the hassle.
If you’re like my Irishman and a bit skeptical about chocolate and apples together feel free to try with other fruit like rhubarb or pears. The first time I made this crumble I went all out with the chocolate which was lovely but totally swamped the apple so now I tend to use less chocolate but feel free to adjust to suit your taste.
800g golden delicious apples (approx 6)
a knob of butter
150g butter, chopped
120g plain flour
150g demerra sugar
225g hazelnuts, roasted & coarsely chopped
100g – 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
vanilla icecream, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C. Finely slice apple into moon shaped wedges about 5mm thick, removing the core as you go. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle over sugar, butter, cinnamon and water. Cover and bake for approx 45mins or until apple is soft.
Meanwhile rub the chopped butter into the flour until you have a texture like coarse breadcrumbs. Stir through sugar and hazelnuts and refrigerate until needed. Divide apple between 6 one cup capacity ramekins. Sprinkle over chocolate and then top with crumble topping leaving it fairley loose.
Place on a baking tray and bake for approx 25mins or until topping is dark golden brown and crunchy. Serve hot with a generous scoop of icecream.