Saturday, February 20, 2010

Torta di Nocciole: Hazelnut Torte


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!




Ciao Chow Linda said...

chocolate, hazelnuts, Nutella and Lidia - some of my favorite things. This post just makes my weekend! I just made some biscotti with hazelnuts and rubbed the hazelnuts between my palms after roasting, but I think the dish towel is a better idea.

kat said...

I adore hazelnut cake, so good! I wish I knew a better way to peel hazelnuts too

George Gaston said...

Oh my Stacey! Your torte looks unbelievable...

Proud Italian Cook said...

Torture, pure torture! I want this!

Joanne said...

I love the flavor of hazelnuts in just about anything...this cake looks so moist and delicious!

Bob said...

As a matter of fact I *do* love hazelnuts. That looks wicked good.

Dana said...

I'm not usually a fan of nuts in baked goods, but this looks awesome - especially with your Nutella touch. I HATE skinning hazelnuts - you are a trooper for doing so many!

Julie said...

That really is beautiful. I'm not sure I've ever seen hazelnuts to buy, guess I haven't been looking.

redkathy said...

I agree this is a beautiful cake. To me, this cake the farthest thing from plain! And a Nutella filled center, fabulous!!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Too funny, we both posted Lidia's recipes, indeed. I'm getting that cookbook. This looks heavenly!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a gorgeous tart Stacey. I wish you could email me a slice. You know I don't think I've ever seen hazelnuts for sale in a store. Perhaps I just didn't recognize them.

I made your recipe for Lamb Shanks and they were so good I posted them on my blog yesterday and of course gave you credit for the inspiration.

Every morning I always enjoy opening my email and finding another tasty treasure from Stacey Snacks waiting in my inbox. Have a great weekend.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love baking with hazelnuts, but the toasting and skinning constantly puts me off. I'm surprised that nobody has come up with an easier way.

Linda said...

One can only say, YUMMO!!!!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I'll have to pull out Lidia's Italy. I haven't looked through it in a while. This torte looks fabulous and I love that you added Nutella - perfect!

Rooster Shamblin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
we are never full said...

Hi, Stace! Gotta say, this is my type of dessert. I absolutely adore hazelnuts and don't eat them much. maybe cause they're expensive. this just looks so good - like the nutella actually sweetens it up a bit. the cake on it's own would be great -add that nutella, damn. love this!

Michele said...

I love hazelnuts! Couldn't you just buy chopped hazelnuts and toast those?

The Italian Dish said...

Oh I have that book - I haven't made this recipe yet! I do love hazelnuts. Another great little topping for this would be candied hazelnuts - you just cook some hazelnuts in a pan with some sugar until it's all gooey and syrupy and pour a little of that on the slices.

The Japanese Redneck said...

ooohhh. I have to eat my lunch now after looking at the pictures.

The Food Hunter said...

that looks wonderful!

citronetvanille said...

How beautiful is this torta? I just want to bite my screen now.

Christeen said...

Stacey, Loved this cake! When I saw the post, I knew I had to make it for a friend's 50th Birthday. Everyone loved it. Thanks so much!Can't wait to try other recipes on your blog. Look forward to reading your posts everyday.

Anonymous said...

This cake is absolutely delicious! Moist too! love the chocolate pieces with the nuts, just perfect. Did not put Nutella, the cake doesn't need it.
love the pictures of the cake!