So last night I knew I was going to see the nurse who taught my birth class and I’ve always been really fond of her so I wanted to bring her a treat. (Hi Nurse Christine!) She has a gluten allergy so I needed to make sure whatever I made accomodated that but was still yummy enough for me to want a slice! I made sure that the baking powder that I used was gluten free, which to my suprise the baking powder I already had was gluten free. I have to admit gluten free didn’t sound all that appetizing, but when I made this I was so excited because it really was de-lish! The chocolate ganache didn’t hurt anything either haha! If you prefer not to use chocolate ganache, the original recipe calls for the cake being topped with homemade whipped cream. Either way it’s sooo good! I think it may become one of my regular recipes that I make. You should give it a whirl!
Hungarian Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- 12 oz hazelnuts (about 2 cups)
- 2t baking powder
- 6 egg yolks
- 5/8 cup sugar (just over half cup)
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2t almond extract
- 1T vanilla extract
- 1/8t cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1t vanilla extract
- 2T ground hazelnuts reserved from cake ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cups heavy cream
White Chocolate Drizzle:
- 1/4 cup white chocolate
- 1T vegetable or canola oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease the cake pan. The original recipe calls for a 9 inch pan, but I used two smaller pans so I could make layers. After greasing the pan I traced a line around the bottom of the pan onto some wax paper and cut out the circle of wax paper. I then placed the wax paper inside the bottom of the pan to help keep the cake from sticking.
I started by toasting the hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium low heat tossing continually to keep them from burning. You’ll want them to toast for about 5 minutes or until warm to the touch. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but it brings out the flavor of the hazelnuts.
Grind the hazelnuts extemely fine and sift them into a bowl. Any pieces too large to pass through the sifter should be put back in your food processor to be ground again.
You want the hazelnuts to be powder like. Set the bowl of hazelnuts aside taking 2 tablespoons of it to set in a small/ medium saucepan for the simple syrup. Add the rest of the ingredients for the simple syrup to the pot (1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract). Bring the mixture in the pot to a boil until the sugar is dissolved and then remove from the heat and set aside to allow the hazelnuts to steep in the liquid.
Seperate the egg yolks from the egg whites and place egg whites in a glass or metal bowl and put into the refrigerator until ready to use. In a seperate bowl add egg yolks, 5/8 cup of sugar, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Blend together until pale yellow and thick. Add the baking powder to the bowl of ground hazelnuts and whisk until the baking powder is distributed, then add that mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until just blended. The mixture will be VERY thick. Set aside.
Take the egg whites from the refrigerator and add the cream of tartar. With a clean whisk attachment, beat on medium/ high speed until soft peaks form. Then increase speed to high until you have firm peaks. It took me about 5 minutes but I also have a very strong hand mixer. I think we have the same one!
Add about 1/4 of the egg whites at a time to the egg yolk mixture. You’ll want to fold in each addition carefully as to not deflate the egg whites. Because the egg yolk mixture is so thick, the first addition of the egg whites will probably deflate, but by the 2nd or 3rd addition you should be able to fold the egg whites in without them deflating too much. What I did was continually cut the mixture down the center while turning the bowl and did that until it was all combined and there were no streaks of egg white left.
Add the batter to your cake pans and cook for about 60 minutes if using a 9 inch pan (mine cooked for about 45-50 minutes since they were two seperate pans) or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly tapped.
While the cake is baking, take the cooled simple syrup and strain the ground hazelnuts out.
When the cake is removed from the oven, before cooling, poke multiple holes throughout the cake and brush or squirt the simple syrup on the top. You don’t want to make your cake soggy so depending on how many cake pans you use or how many layers you make, you may not need to use all of your simple syrup. After adding the simple syrup set the cake aside and allow to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, make two double boilers by having two pots 1/4 full of water barely simmering with a glass bowl on the top of each pot. Do not allow the bottom of the glass bowls to touch the water or your chocolate will burn. To one of the glass bowls, add the semisweet chocolate and heavy cream to make the ganache. Continually stir the chocolate and cream until only a few lumps remain and remove from the heat. Continue to stir and the residual heat will keep melting the rest of the chocolate and it will keep getting smoother.
In the other double boiler/ glass bowl add the white chocolate and oil and continue to stir until only about halfway melted. White chocolate is MUCH more fickle and will burn a lot easier, so only melt about halfway before removing from the heat. Keep stiring until smooth.
Put the cake onto a serving dish or cake stand and add chocolate ganache. Place the 2nd layer (if you made two layers) and add chocolate ganache to the top of that layer as well. Follow the next step before the ganache cools on the cake.
(This step is for decorative purposes only and is not necessary for the taste of the cake.) Swirl the white chocolate onto the top of the cake with a fork, or you can pour the white chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag and cut one corner off and squeeze it on to the ganache.
With a toothpick or knife swirl the white chocolate until it looks how you want it to.
I topped mine with some chopped hazelnuts and a whole one for the center. It was a hit!