I still haven’t found a recipe for the hazelnut cake of my dreams. Call me crazy, but I’m not giving up and will continue to bake cakes until I find something that brings me back to the two different ones I ate in Piemonte. Thanks to a reader (Jacqueline), I tried a recipe that was in Lidia’s Italy. I’m sure it was authentic recipe from the area (if anyone knows Italy, it’s Lidia Bastianich) but although, very tasty, it was the least like the cakes I ate in Piemonte. I think it was the ratio of all-purpose flour to ground hazelnuts. This cake had more white flour than some of the other recipes that I’ve tried.
I have another recipe in a favorite cookbook that I’ll be trying next, but I will share the recipe that I made yesterday. Served warm with a big spoonful of whipped cream, it was tasty. Take a look back at one of my other attempts. That one is probably my favorite of all the ones I’ve made. I think I’m brave enough to now make up my own recipe and go for it. I brought home ground hazelnut “flour” from Italy and I can’t wait to see what happens!
Lidia’s Hazelnut Torte
1-1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons soft butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I omitted this)
1 cup milk, room temperature
4 tablespoons finely chopped semi sweet chocolate (I used bittersweet)
Preheat the oven and butter and flour an 10″ springform pan.
Chop the hazelnuts in a food processor to fine bits. Whisk together or sift flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter and sugar together until light, smooth and fluffy. Scrape bowl and add eggs, olive oil and lemon zest in several additions on low speed and then on high speed for 2 minutes to lighten.
On slow speed add the dry mixture in several additions, alternating with the milk. Beat briefly on high speed. Fold in nuts and chocolate by hand and blend well.
Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake about 45 minutes (mine took close to an hour), until slightly browned. Cool on rack for 30 minutes and then remove ring on springform. Best served warm.