I'm looking to bake a hazelnut cake for a birthday. It does not have to be flourless, like a torte, although that would be fine as well.
I had a similar kind of cake at a bakery that was marketed as a "pralines and cream" cake - it was a soft, fluffy, nutty flavoured sponge cake with a cream frosting. It was not too sweet. I would like to find a recipe for something similar. However, it is also fine if the cake also involves chocolate in some way (one can ever go wrong with chocolate!), although I would prefer if hazelnut was the dominant flavour in the cake base.
I am fairly comfortable with baking, but the only problem is I do not own an electric mixer of any sort and I am sort of wary of using a recipe that uses beaten egg whites for lift.
I have looked at numerous recipes online and I am sure I can cobble something together, but I would really like to see any tried and true recipes you may have. Thanks!
No mixer does limit you a little, but here's one thing you can do: take your favorite vanilla cake recipe and replace a percentage of the flour (maybe 25-30%) with toasted hazelnut meal (or ground toasted hazelnuts if you have a food processor or a lot of patience and a knife). Depending on what flour you use and how much you replace with hazelnut you may have to add in some stronger flour (if your recipe uses cake, some AP, if ap, maybe some bread), but I'd say that's not likely if you stay around 25%. Toasting the hazelnuts or hazelnut meal is essential to bring out that flavor.
Another option would be to replace some of the fat with praline paste or hazelnut butter, though the first option will likely give you a better result.
My Mom learned the recipe for this cake when she took a cooking class back in the 80's. It served as our "fancy" dessert for a lot of years after and I still love it, although I haven't made it in years. It does require a blender or food processor.
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350F
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until the nuts a finely chopped and the batter is smooth. Pour into 2 9 inch cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon strong coffee
1 teaspoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together 1 cup icing sugar and butter. Add remaining 3 ingredients and continue to beat until smooth. You want a spreadable filling for the middle of the cake, add more icing sugar if necessary to get the desired consistency.
Ice the cake with lightly sweetened whipped cream. You can decorate it with some whole or chopped hazelnuts and a dusting of cocoa powder if desired.