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I found this unusual dessert recipe in an old cookbook years ago, and was charmed by its curious name. It instantly became a hit with my family and friends. The combination of flavours - tartness, burnt sugar and bitter chocolate – with the contrasting soft and crunchy textures is both unexpected and irresistible. Bramley apples are in season at the moment, although you could make it at any time of the year. For a more interesting texture, stop cooking the apples before they have completely collapsed into a mash, so that there are some soft lumps.

It's also a good way of using up stale bread. If you have a food processor, use it to grind stale bread into crumbs (cut off any hard crusts first); they keep very well in the freezer. The original recipe specified rye breadcrumbs, but brown or wholemeal work just as well. Best served chilled.

Serves 4 - 6


  • 60g butter
  • 60g fresh brown breadcrumbs
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 675g Bramley cooking apples
  • 30g granulated sugar (or to taste)
  • 60g dark chocolate (70% ideally)
  • 150g double cream


Using a heavy based frying pan, melt the butter over a low heat.

Combine the breadcrumbs and sugar and add to the melted butter in the pan. Using a wooden spoon, keep stirring the mixture around in the pan, keeping the heat low.

After a few minutes the sugar will start to caramelise – watch carefully as it burns very suddenly.

When it is a few shades darker and you can smell the burnt sugar, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, until brittle.

Crush into small crunchy crumbs (I use the end of a wooden rolling pin).

Meanwhile peel, core and roughly chop the apples. Put them in a pan with a very little water, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat until almost tender.

Add sugar to your liking.

Take a serving bowl (not too deep) and put about one third of the cooked apples in it, flattening the surface slightly.

Sprinkle one third of the caramelised crumbs on top, then repeat twice, finishing with a layer of crumbs.

Grate or finely chop the chocolate, reserving a couple of teaspoons. You could use a food processor for this.

Sprinkle over the top layer of crumbs.

Allow to cool, then cover the bowl and refrigerate.

Whip the cream to soft peaks and spread it over the top of the dish, to cover the filling entirely.

Decorate with the rest of the grated chocolate.

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Oct 01, 2022