4 hours ago
Saturday, February 20, 2010
This is a beautiful cake. Plain and simple, just my taste.
Ground nuts, chocolate, butter, eggs, citrus........if you love hazelnuts, then this one is for you. The smell of the hazelnuts baking in the oven is intoxicating!
Thanks to Lidia Bastianich.
This recipe is from her book Lidia's Italy, where she travels all over the boot and makes dishes from each region.
Hazelnuts are most popular in Piemonte, the Northern part of Italy, where they call them "gentle round one of Langhe". I love it.
The only hard part here is skinning the toasted hazelnuts, kind of a chore.
After toasting the nuts, I put them in a dish towel and make a bundle and rub the nuts together, shaking vigorously. Most of the skins come off, but some remain, that's ok.
If you have a better method, do tell.
Lidia's Hazelnut Torte: (adapted from Lidia's Italy)
Butter and flour a 10" springform pan.
1.5 cups of toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
1.5 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp softened butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
grated zest of an orange
1 cup of milk at room temperature
4 Tbsp semisweet chocolate, chopped by hand (I put them in a ziploc and crushed with the back of a coffee mug)
After toasting and skinning the hazelnuts, place them in a food processor and chop into small bits, but not powder. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder & salt.
In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs, olive oil and zest in several additions until light.
Incorporate dry mix in several additions, alternating with splashes of milk. Fold in the nuts and chocolate by hand and blend well.
Bake in a 350F oven for about 45-60 minutes (mine needed the full hour). The top should be lightly browned and just spring back to a light touch.
Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove the side ring.
I decided this cake could use an icing or sauce (which is not my specialty, as we know). What better than NUTELLA? Chocolate and hazelnut spread for the chocolate and hazelnut cake!
I sliced the cake in half across the middle and spread Nutella on one half, and covered it with the top of the cake. Dusted it with confectioners sugar, it was perfect!