It may not look like a dessert, but this little gem is packed with flavors. As much crushed hazelnuts as sugar in the recipe, this is a nutty sweet/savory cake, perfect to serve with a little fruit...
The Dessert is texturally dry. I had some peaches I had canned over the summer. I used the simple peach syrup in the jar to add a little moisture to the cake. It was wonderful.
Making the cake is very easy. It does call for separated eggs, stiff peak whipped egg whites and crushing the nuts. All of which is easy enough to do.
Hint on separating eggs, use your hands, whites drip between slightly separated fingers , leaving the yolks whole.
Hint on stiff peaks egg whites, USE A STAND MIXER (kitchenaid) or an electric mixer with beaters. Sure, you can (and I have) whisked them by hand but really... Electric for this one. Start out on low speed for the first 2 minutes until the eggs just start to foam around the edge, then increase the speed bit by bit until you are an high for the last 5 minutes.
And finally a hint on crushing the nuts. This time, do them by hand. Or actually, with the side of a chef's knife. Carefully position one or two nuts at a time under the side of the knife, whack it with the back of your hand and you have the nuts in pieces, easy now to chop. Repeat until you are finished. Once you get the hang of it, you can finish off 1 cup in only a couple of minutes.
Oh, and as good as this was with fruit as a dessert (Dolce), the next morning I grabbed a slice and had it with my coffee... Dare I suggest even better? No need for the simple syrup drizzle, the almost shortbread texture was perfect to dunk in the coffee.
(Torta di Nocciole)
- 1 Stick plus 2 TBS Butter, melted
- 2 Cups Flour
- 3 Large Eggs, separated
- 1 Cup Sugar, divided
- 1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1 Cup Toasted and finely chopped Hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Use cooking spray to coat the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan, dust with flour
- In my Kitchenaid mixer, I started to whisk the egg whites, on low speed for 2 minutes. Then I upped the speed two notches and slowly added 1/2 Cup of sugar to the whisking whites as the machine ran. After the entire 1/2 cup is added, I again sped the machine up another notch and let it run for 8 minutes more, until the whites make very stiff peaks..
- While the machine is running, Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl.
- Now, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and whisk until well combined
- Add the baking powder and salt and whisk again
- Add the melted butter and hazelnuts and mix.
- OK, now add the egg whites, folding into the dough 1/3rd at a time. First third, beat in until you see no white. The second third, fold in until you see a bit of whites speckled into the dough and the final third, plop the stiff egg whites into the center of the dough. Using a spatula, gently fold from the edges into the center 5 times and that's all. Larger inch wide ribbons should be visible.
- Transfer the dough into the prepared baking dish, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then remove from the pan and allow to cool to room temperature (about 2 hours) prior to cutting.
- SERVE and ENJOY!!!
So, Cin Cin indeed as I add "authentic" Hazelnut Cake (Torta di Nocciole) to my "52 Authentic Italian Recipes".
And as always, if you like this recipe and think you might want to give it a try, pin this to your Pinterest Board and be sure to follow me on Pinterest if you want to see the rest of my 52 Ideas!