This recipe is based on an American-style streusel-topped coffee cake. Han Feng gives this homey dessert a Chinese twist by adding roasted chestnuts. She bakes the cakes in oversize teacups, but ramekins are perfect substitutes.
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1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 large Granny Smith apples—peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup roasted chestnuts, quartered
Sesame or vanilla ice cream
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place eight 8-ounce ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet. In a bowl, toss the walnuts with the light brown sugar and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, blend the butter with the turbinado sugar, dark brown sugar and eggs. Gently stir in the flour mixture and buttermilk until blended, then fold in the apples and chestnuts.
Spoon the batter into the ramekins and sprinkle the walnut mixture on top. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the topping is browned and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve with a scoop of ice cream.
Alois Kracher of Austria, one of the world's greatest sweet-wine producers, created the bottlings that Han Feng chose to pair with these delicious cakes. An apple blossomscented Chardonnay from Napa Valley would also go well..
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