About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, December 27, 2010
Hazelnut Gateau

This very pretty cake has a special place in my repertoire, being the very first thing I ever baked for my wife. At the time, there was no knowing that one of her favourite nuts was the hazelnut, so proving a fortuitous choice, no?

The funny thing is though, that first one is not the same as the one I bake today, through a simple error of not following the recipe instructions exactly; however, the resulting cake turned out much better than the original.

It transpired I'd forgotten to halve the fat enriched dry mixture, used to line the baking tin as a base for the cake batter, made with the other half and all the wet ingredients.

This mistake of a cake had a much nicer crumb, quite dense but also very moist and heady with the rich spice like character of brown sugar

The other deviation, made on purpose this time, was instead of coarsely chopping the nuts, each one was painstakingly cut in half, dramatically lifting the presentation.

Hazelnut Gateau
(adapted from La Tante Claire by Pierre Koffmann)

300g brown sugar
240g plain flour
130g cold unsalted butter, cut into rough chunks
240ml sour cream - I use continental style, about 20% fat
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
200g hazelnuts, lightly roasted, skinned, each one cut in half or just coarsely chopped

Line a 24cm springform cake tin with baking paper and generously butter.

In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and flour and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Spread half the mixture in the cake tin if you want to follow the original recipe, or simply whisk the sour cream, baking powder and egg and add to the bowl containing the pastry mixture, mixing well. Pour this into the cake tin and spread evenly. Evenly sprinkle over the chopped hazelnuts and bake in a 180c oven for about forty minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin, then invert onto a plate, so that the hazelnut topping is uppermost, sprinkle with some icing sugar.
  posted at 2:34 pm

At 8:04 pm, Anonymous amino acids vitamins said...

Doesn't look like your typical baked hazelnut but is definitely delicious once tried.

At 11:06 am, Anonymous Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

Oh my word that looks good! Also really simple, which pretty much sums up my principal criterion for baked goods ;o)

All the very best for 2011!

At 8:40 pm, Blogger Katie Zeller said...

What a pretty cake! And using hazelnuts, too. I have 2 trees, and love them but one rarely sees them IN things. Probably because walnuts are a lot easier to chop LOL
We live in the nut growing region of France - groves and groves of both walnuts and hazelnuts.... And prunes.

At 3:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, delicious! never mind any mistakes. i like the sound of this.

best wishes for the new year,

At 4:53 pm, Blogger Anh said...

Neil, that looks so delicious! Anything with hazelnut is good in my book. But probably I can't resist adding chocolate here or there. :))

At 12:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi neil, thanks for the recipe. have added it to our panthenon of cakes at the RVL

At 8:42 pm, Anonymous carbon copy pro said...

Thank you for information!

At 6:01 am, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Wow, what a delicious looking dessert!

At 10:25 pm, Blogger Squishy said...

One of my favourite nuts also. That looks divine, but must have taken forever to cut all of them in half. But yes looks very dramatic and worth it :)

At 10:43 pm, Anonymous Jenny said...

this cake looks so delicious.Glad you had such a great work.

At 5:20 pm, Anonymous Susan Bennett said...

Oh wow, no wonder she married you.

At 3:58 am, Anonymous plasterers bristol said...

It only takes a second to show someone how you feel. The police call it “Indecent Exposure” but whatever.


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