I made this cake for my cousin’s birthday.
Almost exactly one month ago. In March. (told you it takes me forever to post things..) That’s how lame I am. But it was delicious. And it was the very first time I’ve ever made a cake 100% from scratch. Some people find that strange, or pathetic even. I have no shame–I grew up on boxed cake and I still love a good funfetti every now and again. But part of this growing up business and part of this learning to cook business means I gotta bust out the flour and sugar and do it myself.
On a side note. Tomorrow is my last day of work. And I have yet to get another job. So, this summer I promise I’ll have a lot more time to actually keep up with this blog. Look forward to a lot of baked goods, as that is my only plan for the summer.
And you better believe this cake was a hit, so I’ll be doing this again. and again.
Hazelnut Sponge Cake (From Bake! By Nick Malgeri)
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts (no need to remove the skins they’re pretty)
- 3/4 cup sugar (divided use so don’t measure it until you need it)
- 5 large room temperature eggs, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup flour
- preheat the oven to 350 with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 3 inch deep X 9-inch round springform or cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- combine hazelnuts and 1tbsp sugar in the food processor and pulse until finely ground. set aside.
- whisk remaining sugar with egg yolks (use some kind of electricity here; hand mixer or stand mixer if you’re a lucky duck) until lightened; about 3 minues. whip in vanilla extract.
- in a very clean, dry bowl, with a very clean and very dry wisk (use the same or another form of electricity here just make sure you clean the whisks really well) combine the egg whites and salt. whip on medium speed until white and beginning to hold shape, then increase speed to high and whip until the egg whites hold a firm peak
- fold the yolk mixture into the whites , then scatter the ground hazelnuts over that and sift the flour over that. using a large, rubber spatula, gently fold everything together, trying not to deflate the batter.
- scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. bake for about 30 minutes, or until risen and golden brown and firm in the center.
- when done, invert the cake immediately onto a rack, leaving the paper on the bottom, then invert again onto another rack, remove the top rack, and leave the cake to cool completely right side up.
Chocolate Ganache (I can’t remember which one I used, but it might have been this one from smittenkitchen)
1 pound good semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Finely chop chocolate. In a saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over low-ish heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and whisk in chocolate until completely smooth. Add butter and whisk until melted and smooth.
Transfer frosting to a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency..I don’t remember if I had to chill mine or not. Sorry. Fail.)
TO ASSEMBLE CAKE:
once the cake is completely cool (I went so far as to make my cake the day before and double-wrapped it in plastic and left it in the fridge overnight. It saves time the day of and ensures no melty frosting. Cakes will keep for weeks if you triple wrap them and freeze them, actually.) Carefully cut the in half to create two layers using a serrated knife. If you want to go crazy, you could make a 3 layer cake out of this by cutting it in thirds, but I found 2 to be fine. (The easiest way to do this is to put your knife parallel to the table and perpendicular to the cake and slowly spin the cake around while you gently push the knife in. A few turns and you should be able to cut all the way through with an even layer and few crumbs.)
Put the top of the cake cut side up and frost the cut side thickly. This will be the middle of your cake. Place the bottom layer bottom side up (so the flattest part of the cake becomes the top) and frost the entire cake. It’s a good idea to do a thin layer of frosting all around the top and sides and then refrigerate it for a little while, then do a second layer as finishing. Decorate as desired (I fail so hard at making cakes pretty that I didn’t show you the finished product with writing on it..)
EAT and ENJOY!