I couldn’t think of a better first recipe for my blog than a traditional Czech apple cake.
Its name “hraběnčiny řezy” could be translated as countess cake. It is very popular in the Czech Republic, you can find dozens of variations of this recipe on Czech food-related websites.
I think that almost every Czech family has its own preferred version of this rich delicacy. It might not be the fanciest of desserts, but trust me, you will fall in love with the buttery dough, juicy apples, crunchy nuts and sweet egg white snow cover.
- 500 g all-purpose flour (“polohrubá” in Czech shops)
- 250 g butter
- 150 g powder sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 pack of baking powder (approximately 12 – 13 g)
- 8 – 10 apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated, you can use more, based on preferences. I used 8 medium-sized apples and, as you can see in the picture, the apple layer is not very thick
- 1 tablespoon powder sugar, this again depends a lot on your preferences, sweetness of the apples you use and also on how much sugar you are going to use in the egg white snow
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- crushed or ground walnuts, I used a handful and next time I am going to use at least double that amount
Egg white “snow”:
- 4 egg whites
- 100 g granulated sugar, most recipes say 100 g, which made the snow too sweet for me, next time I am going to use 60 g – 70 g, don’t use powder sugar – it would be difficult to do a firm snow
Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Butter and flour baking tray or use baking paper. I used 35 x 22 cm baking tray.
Make the dough
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Mix in egg yolks, one by one. In a separate bowl, mix baking powder with flour. Add the flour mixture into the large bowl. Mix everything together using your hands.
Separate 1/3 of the dough, wrap it with plastic foil and store in a fridge.
Over a large work surface, roll out the rest of the dough. This dough can be quite difficult to roll out. The aim is not to get the perfect rectangle to exactly match the size of the tray. Just roll it out a bit so that it is easier to transfer the dough into the tray. Spread the dough so that it fits the tray using your fingers.
Arrange grated apples all over the dough. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon powder and nuts.
Beat the egg whites
Start beating eggs whites. After a while, when the egg whites start holding their shape, slowly add sugar while continue beating the egg whites. Continue beating until you have firm peaks.
Carefully spread the beaten egg whites over the apple layer.
Take the rest of the dough out of the fridge and grate it directly over the egg white layer.
Bake until golden, about 30 – 40 mins.