Warm Apple Crumb Cake (an extra – no video)

Spray an 8″ springform pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper – set aside.

Peel 3 large or 4 medium apples – I used gala – then slice them into thin slices.  Put the slices in a bowl and add 2 tbsps of sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon – mix well.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, line rimmed baking sheet with either foil or parchment.  After the 10 minutes, spread the apple slices out onto the sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Remove about 20 slices and keep them separately – these will go on top later.  Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups of flour 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt and 1 cup sugar.  Mix well.
Add 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1-1/2 tsp of pure vanilla and 1/8 tsp of almond extract.  Mix well.

Spread half of this batter in the pan.  Top with the apples (not the ones set aside) and then top with the rest of the batter covering the apples.  Take the reserve 20 slices of apple and arrange them over the top.

In another bowl, mix 3 tbsps brown sugar, 2 tbsps white sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp orange zests.  Mix well.  Melt 1/4 cup and ad mix and then add 2/3 cup flour and mix well.

Sprinkle this streusel over the top of the cake.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  If it is browning too much, cover with a piece of foil at this point and bake another 25-30 minutes or till the proverbial toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove sides and cool completely.

Mix 1 cup confectioners sugar, 2 tbsps sour cream and 1 tbsps milk and mix well and drizzle over cake.

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French Nougat

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg whites

4 tbsps soft butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts – I use pistachios and almonds, half and half

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a heavy 3 qt saucepan.  Cook, stirring over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then turn it up to medium, use a candy thermometer, and bring it to 250 degrees – do not stir during this time.

Just before the syrup reaches 250, beat the egg whites on a mixer till stiff but not dry.  I do this with my whisk attachment, then when dry, I take the whisk off and put the paddle on.  When the syrup reaches 250, pour in a slow steady stream 1/4 of it into the egg white mixture with the mixture running.  Continue beating the egg white mixture till it almost starts to hold its shape.  Meanwhile, continue cooking the sugar mixture over medium heat (do not use too high heat or you can scorch the mixture – this takes patience and time) until it reaches 300 degrees.  When it reaches 300, pour the syrup slowly into the egg white mixture, with the mixer running.  When the mixture begins to hold its shape, add the butter and the vanilla.  Continue beating until thick and satiny – this will not take long.  Stir in the nuts.

Immediately push out into a WELL BUTTERED 8″ square pan.  Press it in evenly with buttered fingers.  Let stand at least 2 hours or overnight.

Turn the nougat out onto a cutting board (you might have to coax it out with a butter knife).  Using a large sharp carving knife, cut into 1 x 1-1/2 inch pieces.  Wrap each piece in a small piece of plastic wrap.  Store in a tightly covered container in a cool dry place.