A little story about this hazelnut cake – “The Swiss Haus bakery in Philadelphia has sold this sweet, nutty cake since 1923. It features light, airy hazelnut cake; delicate, pillowy vanilla frosting; and a generous garnish of chocolate shavings. The Swiss Haus pastry chef wouldn’t disclose the recipe, so we decided to play detective…” The “we” mentioned here is the very kitchen-savvy America’s Test Kitchen.
I have to say they did such a fantastic job re-creating this hazelnut cake recipe, and put it along with over 240 recipes in their first-ever cake book, The Perfect Cake: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic, Modern, and Whimsical Cakes. Hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts. I knew I had to try this recipe when I got my hands on this comprehensive cake bible.
A refreshingly light, yet nutty, cotton-soft chiffon cake infused with the flavors of ground hazelnut, this hazelnut cake recipe is the best one I’ve ever tried! My favorite part of this recipe is no skinning is required for the nuts. Just toast and grind the hazelnuts with their skin for better color and flavor. The original recipe from The Perfect Cake cookbook uses marshmallow frosting which sounds wonderful. But I chose to match this lovely cake with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and a giant cloud of pillowy whipped cream. So so heavenly that you won’t have any guilt to go for a second serving.
The Perfect Cake: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic, Modern, and Whimsical Cakes contains an impressive roster of recipes, from multilayer cakes to rustic fruit-topped treats, elegant tortes, beautiful bundt cakes, filled cupcakes, -and even fun cake pops. Each recipe is kitchen-tested to work every time.
I’m excited to give away a copy of this comprehensive cookbook to one lucky reader, thanks to America’s Test Kitchen. Simply leave me a comment below telling me one of your favorite cakes before May 23, 2018 (Wednesday) midnight PST. You can also tag a friend, follow Oh Sweet Day! and follow America’s Test Kitchen on Instagram for extra entries. One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced on this post.
Ingredients (one 8-inch cake):
1/4 cup skin-on hazelnuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 large egg white
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
100 grams dark chocolate, cut into small chunks
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 cup chocolate shavings
1/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of an ungreased 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
Process hazelnuts in food processor until finely ground.
Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine.
In a bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Scrape the meringue in another bowl. Set aside.
In the same bowl, mix together egg yolks, oil, water, and vanilla until combined.
Add flour mixture and mix until smooth batter forms.
Fold in half of the meringue into the batter until almost combined. Then fold in the rest of the meringue into the batter until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely.
To prepare ganache, place chocolate and heavy cream in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
To prepare whipped cream, whisk the heavy cream and the powdered sugar until it holds firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, place the cake layer on a serving plate. Pour ganache over the top of the cake, and use an offset spatula to gently spread the ganache so it covers the top surface of the cake.
Gently spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the ganache.
Sprinkle chocolate shavings and hazelnuts on top.