Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Recipe copied from Baking Illustrated, pages 384-385.
I have mixed feelings on this cake. It was yummy and rich, but I don't think I liked the texture. I love hazelnut flavor, but I didn't really like the nutty texture the hazelnuts brought to the cake. My classmates didn't seem to mind, however. This cake greatly reminds me of the Ferrero Rocher candies. So, if you like them, I'd definitely give this cake a try.
I think the most time consuming part is toasting and peeling the hazelnuts. I did that as soon as I bought the hazelnuts and stored them for a couple of weeks before I finally got around to making the cake.
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and toasted again
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
5 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch spring-form pan.
2. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally to speed up the process. Remove the bowl from the heat and cool to room temperature.
3. Place the hazelnuts, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the flour in a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely ground, 15-20 1 second pulses.
4. Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer set at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the 6 egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cooled chocolate and beat just until blended in. Stir in the ground hazelnuts.
5. Put the egg whites and the salt in a large, clean bowl and beat with the mixer until you form stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold in a third of the egg whites to the chocolate-nut mixture. Carefully fold in the remaining whites in two batches, taking care not to deflate the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake until a toothpick or thin skewer inserted halfway between the center and the outer rim of the cake comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. (The center of the cake will still be moist). Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, about 3 hours. Just before serving, dust with confectioner's sugar.