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Amazing Hazelnut Cake

The cake is, indeed, amazing. It's a bit crunchy, and rich with toasted hazelnuts and brown butter but remarkably light and meringue-like. Roxana Jullapat, Lucques' pastry chef, sprinkles fleur de sel on top and adds a scoop of caramel ice cream to each serving.

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 10 people

Recipe Ingredients

12 tablespoons 180mlButter
1   Vanilla bean
5 oz 142gBlanched hazelnuts - toasted
1 1/3 cups 263g / 9.3ozPowdered sugar
1/3 cup 20g / 0.7ozFlour
5   Egg whites
1/4 cup 49g / 1.7ozGranulated sugar
  Fleur de sel - as needed
  Caramel ice cream - for serving

Recipe Instructions

Place an 8-inch skillet on low heat and add the butter. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out; add the seeds and bean to the butter. When the butter turns a golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, remove from the heat. Remove the seeds and pod and scrape the butter into a bowl to cool.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, and line it with parchment paper. Grind the hazelnuts with the powdered sugar in a food processor.

Place the ground nuts in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and stir until well combined.

Beat the egg whites and granulated sugar to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. Fold the whites into the nut mixture. Fold in the room-temperature brown butter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge and unmold onto a serving platter. Sprinkle each serving of cake with a little fleur de sel. Accompany with a scoop of caramel ice cream.

Dietary Information:

Each serving: 316 calories; 4 grams protein; 27 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 23 grams fat; 23 grams saturated fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 30 mg. sodium.

"The Los Angeles Times, 07-21-2004"


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