Monday, September 12, 2016

Sunday Dessert ~ Swiss Hazelnut Cake

We always looked forward to Sunday dinners at my mom's.  It's not that I sat back and did nothing, on the contrary, I loved helping to bake while our girls enjoyed playing outside with the animals and  Chuck watched sports.  Sharing that time with my mom was priceless and her knowledge of baking gave me the foundation that has stayed with me along with the memories.

I've always loved hazelnuts, but really began using them in baking when we lived in the Pacific Northwest.  Oregon is one of the biggest producers of this nut and I began seeing them at our farmer's market--from whole nuts to hazelnut flour, so when I found this recipe from Cook's Country, I knew I wanted to try it.

This cake is characteristic of a dacquoise recipe with its light texture from whipped egg whites and the buttercream frosting, which can be tricky to make, is made easy using marshmallow fluff!   Instead of toasting and grinding the nuts into a delicate flour, I took a shortcut and purchased Toasted Hazelnut Flour from King Arthur Flour...your choice.


Swiss Hazelnut Cake

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line 2 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, grease just the parchment, but not the pan sides.

Cake:
1/2 cup (2 ounces) skin-on hazelnuts, toasted and cooled
Process hazelnuts in a food processor, until finely ground, about 30 seconds.

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup  (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, whisk all of these ingredients together, including the ground hazelnuts.  Set aside

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk these "wet" ingredients together, then add them to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, mixing until a smooth batter forms.

5 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a hand-held mixer) whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.  Gently whisk one-third of the whipped egg whites into the batter.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining egg whites into batter until incorporated.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and gently tap pans on counter to release air bubbles.  Bake until tops are light golden brown and cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center, 25 to 28 minutes.

Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around edges of pan; invert cakes onto a wire rack.  Discard parchment and let cakes cool completely.


Frosting:
24 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) confectioners' sugar
12 ounces ( 2 3/4) cups) Fluff brand marshmallow creme
2 T hazelnut liqueur (optional)

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip butter and salt on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add the confectioners' sugar.  Increase speed to medium and whip until smooth, 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Add marshmallow creme, increase speed to medium-high, whip until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add the hazelnut liqueur, if using, and whip to incorporate, about 30 seconds.

Frost bottom cake layer, add the second layer spreading evenly over top and sides.  The cake called for bittersweet chocolate shavings sprinkled over the top and sides, but I only had enough to sprinkle on the top:-(  It was still pretty--Enjoy!

The weather was a little cooler...not much, but I'll take it after the long hot summer.  Are you making changes for the fall weather in your home or with your baking?

22 comments:

  1. The cake has a really smooth and light crumb..excellent!

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    1. That's what separating the eggs will do! Loved the texture.

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  2. What a beautiful cake, Susan. I'm always inspired when I visit you. I love hearing the sweet memories of how you loved baking with your mother. Have a nice afternoon. xoxo ♥

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    1. This would be a great "company coming" cake--I think it's impressive and I would definitely make it again! Love the easy "Swiss meringue buttercream" too.

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  3. It really is beautiful! And King Arthur's flour is so fresh and good for baking. I have their cookbook and it has so many goodies. I bake for my hubby and he loves whatever I make. Hugs!

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  4. I adore hazelnuts too! This looks a delightful cake.
    As a vegetarian, I cannot eat marshmallow fluff, so wonder what
    is the alternative please?
    ~~~Deb in Wales

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    1. Here's another buttercream recipe that would be just as good--http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/quick-buttercream-frosting-recipe.

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    2. Thank you, that is very kind of you. I will make sure to bookmark it now.

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  5. This is such an interesting recipe. I have never looked for hazelnuts before. Sounds good.

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    1. Linzer Torte is one of my favorite things to bake and got me hooked on Hazelnuts. It's the flavor in Nutella as well!

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  6. Sounds delicious - something special. Just like my August apron I won. Thank you so much. It too is perfection.

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  7. Oh my goodnes..yes! I know this is going to be divine! What would we do without you Susan....you keep me so happy!!! Hugs!

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  8. I wish I lived near enough to you to be one of your 'taste testers'!!!
    hugs!

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  9. Susan, your cake looks delicious.

    The name alone is worth the price of admission. I'm a sucker for anything that contains hazelnuts.

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  10. Susan, your cake looks delicious.

    The name alone is worth the price of admission. I'm a sucker for anything that contains hazelnuts.

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  11. I do like nuts so this is right up my alley. thanks so much for sharing.
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  12. I am soooo in the mood for cake! I rarely have it but these pics have my mouth watering!

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