Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

September 22, 2010


The Illusive Hazelnut Cake

I am getting ready to try a fourth recipe in my attempt to recreate the delicious hazelnut torta that we ate in Piemonte back in the spring. Actually there were two incredible cakes that we sampled. The first was at a restaurant in Acqui Terme and was served with whipped cream. The second was one that I purchased at a street fair. I was given a taste by the baker and immediately put down six euros to buy a whole cake.

These two cakes were different from each other, but they were equally delectable. You’d think that I’d be able to find at least one recipe that would come close to at least one of them! The first two cakes I made had a little bit of chocolate in them-neither of the ones I ate in Italy did. I was more concerned about the texture of the cake and didn’t mind if there was a chocolate involved. I mean hazelnuts and chocolate-that’s one classic combination. Neither cake hit the mark for texture. Both were denser than I had hoped. Over the weekend I tried a recipe from an actual Piemontese cookbook. This cake was the densest of all-almost like a shortbread. Delicious, yes, light, no.

While looking through one of my favorite cookbooks-Sunday Suppers at Lucques-I realized that it includes a recipe for a Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake. This one calls for folding egg whites into the batter and maybe that will help with that illusive light texture I’ve been searching for. I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve made from this book, so I’m holding out hope. If not, well I could just go back to Acqui Terme…


4 thoughts on “The Illusive Hazelnut Cake

  1. I love hazelnuts and can eat Nutella until…well, I need bigger jeans 🙂 This would be good and dense. Yum!

  2. Yum, this sounds heavenly! I am anxious to hear how this new trial goes!!

  3. Sounds like a worthy quest. I love hazelnuts and you’re right–nothing beats the combination of hazelnuts and chocolate. Folding egg whites into the batter should definitely help to lighten and leaven it. Keep us posted on your progress…

  4. This will be worth the effort!

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