RECIPE: Hazelnut Praline Cake | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food RECIPE: Hazelnut Praline Cake – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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RECIPE: Hazelnut Praline Cake

“Hazelnuts make the best desserts,” says one of our favorite food bloggers, Vicky of Stasty.com. I feel like a lot of desserts are almond based, and poor old hazelnuts never get a look in. Hazelnuts are more complex and work well in both sweet and savoury dishes.

“This is a different kind of cake than what you are used to,” she continues. “It’s intensely nutty and full of different textures—the soft cream, the crunchy brittle and the nutty moist cake.”

Vicky found the original recipe for brown butter hazelnut cake on SmittenKitchen.com. Moist and nutty, she serves it with fresh whipped cream and a garnish of hazelnut brittle (hazelnut praliné). You can also serve it à la mode, with vanilla ice-cream.

This original recipe uses unsalted butter, but Vicky recommends salted butter: Sweet salty flavors go so well together, she comments.

 

To us, fall says “hazelnut cake.” Photo courtesy Stasty.com, where everything most definitely is tasty!.

 
RECIPE: BROWN BUTTER HAZELNUT PRALINE CAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/150g blanched hazelnuts
  • 8 ounces/225g salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup/125g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup/50g flour (can be gluten-free flour)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  •  

    Go ahead: Take a bite. Photo courtesy
    Stasty.com.

     

    For The Caramelized Hazelnuts

  • 75g / ½ cup of blanched hazelnuts
  • 50g / 1/4 cup of superfine sugar (you can pulse granulated sugar in a food processor)
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • Caramelized hazelnuts
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F/175°C. Once the oven has come to temperature, place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about ten minutes, until just golden. Remove and allow to cool. Leave the oven at the same temperature for the cake. Meanwhile…

     
    2. PLACE the butter in a medium saucepan and heat until melted. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round cake tin (spring form works best) with a circle of parchment paper. Then, using a smidgen of the melted butter, grease the inside of the tin including the bottom circle of parchment paper. Leave the tin aside until you are ready to use it.

    3. ADD the vanilla to the melted butter, and heat the butter once again until it becomes nut brown. There will be a few sticky brown butter solids at the bottom of the pot; be sure and stir these in. When cooked the mixture should be pale brown and smell slightly nutty. It should take about 5 minutes to make the melted butter nut brown. Take the butter off the heat and leave aside.

    4. PLACE the cooled hazelnuts along with the confectioners’ sugar into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground and incorporated into the sugar. Add the flour, and pulse to combine.

    5. WHIP the egg whites and granulated sugar in a stand mixer or in a large bowl using electric beaters. Whisk until fairly stiff: You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything spilling out!

    6. FOLD both the dry ingredients (hazelnut sugar) and wet ingredients (nut butter) into the egg whites. It’s a little time consuming, but you need to be patient and carefully fold all the ingredients without knocking out any of that precious air. Once everything is incorporated, place the batter into the prepared tin. Place the cake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. You can check if it’s done by sticking a sharp knife into the center of the cake. The knife should come out clean when the cake is cooked.

    7. MAKE the praline: Place the hazelnuts in a large frying pan. Heat over a medium heat for about 3 -5 minutes, until the hazelnuts are golden and just toasted. Then, add the sugar and allow it to caramelize. Once the sugar turns golden brown, pour it and the hazelnuts onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow to cool and harden for about an hour. Then place the praline into a plastic bag and crush it into small pieces using a rolling pin or heavy object.

    8. DECORATE: Halve the cake and fill the middle with whipped cream; add the second layer and place more whipped cream on top. This is not a very high-risen cake, so this is the best way to serve it. Garnish the top with the hazelnut praline pieces.

      




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