Brown Butter & Hazelnut Cake
This time around, I decided to try out my luck with hazelnuts. Specially this Hazelnut Cake. As soon as I read it on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to bake it myself. So, I was driving around with my mom running errands when we started talking about my next recipes for the blog. When I mentioned this one, she asked how I was going to remove the skins from the hazelnuts. I answered back that I read that after toasting them for a few minutes, I had to only rub them in-between a clean kitchen towel and most of the skins would peel off. She said that back then, she would blanch them and then the skins are extremely easy to remove. Moms know best. I searched both methods, and a video from Fine Cooking did all the explaining. They suggest blanching the hazelnuts, later on peeling, pat them dry and finally toast them. You’ll find a link to the video bellow the recipe. Also, you will find a very detailed post on how to make Brown Butter from Simply Recipes, which helped me tons.
The cake is airy and light… Ok not so light… but it definitely is a perfect cake for those who don’t have a sweet tooth! The brown butter infused with vanilla definitely takes this cake to a new level, with its nutty flavor together with the ground hazelnuts… it’s an unexpected delight!
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We hope you like the little changes we are doing to the blog, because all of this is for you, our readers!
Brown Butter & Hazelnut Cake
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
One 10-inch cake
5 ounces hazelnuts
½ pound unsalted butter
⅛ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cups confectioners’ sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
5 egg whites
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups of water
4 tablespoons of baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- In a big pot, bring the water to a boil, carefully add the baking soda tablespoon by tablespoon so it doesn’t boil over.
- Add the hazelnuts and boil for 3 minutes. If the pot starts to boil over, you can move the pot out of the heat for a few seconds.
- Test one of the hazelnuts to peel it, and if they peel easily, remove them from the heat, drain and peel all of the hazelnuts.
- Pat dry the hazelnuts and spread them on a baking sheet, and toast 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown and smell nutty. Let them cool.
- Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Brush the pan with a little melted butter and line the bottom with the paper.
- Place the rest of the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla bean paste to the pan (or vanilla extract), and cook the butter until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- Grind the hazelnuts with the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until they’re finely ground. Add the flour and pulse to combine. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the granulated sugar and mix on high-speed 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture forms very stiff peaks.
- Alternate folding the dry ingredients and the brown butter into the egg whites, a third of a time. Remember to scrap the bottom of the brown butter pan with a rubber spatula to get all the little brown bits.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a rack 30 minutes.
- Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, and invert the cake onto a plate. Peel off the paper, and turn the cake back over onto a serving platter. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
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