- 1 ½ cups hazelnuts (toasted and skinned (see below))
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Butter and lightly grease a 10x4 inch loaf pan , or a 9-inch (24cm) springform pan.
- In a food processor, pulse the toasted hazelnuts with 2 Tbs of the granulated sugar until finely ground. Take care not to over grind the hazelnuts to the point where they become a nut butter, or the cake will be oily and heavy. Set the nut mixture aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, or a large bowl with a wooden spoon, cream the butter until light, then add the remaining white and light brown sugars and cream the mixture until it is light, pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Don't worry if the mixture looks separated and broken; it will come together when you add the flour.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Add the nuts and mix well to combine.
- Add this to the butter in three additions, alternating with the cream in two additions, beginning and ending with flour. Mix only until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Add the hazelnut liqueur or the oil and mix well with a spatula.
- Scrape the butter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool 20 to 30 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the edge of the pan, remove the sides if using a springform or unmold if using a loaf pan.
- Cool on a rack completely before serving or wrapping or storing.
- This cake tastes better the second day and lasts up to 5 days.
To skin hazelnuts:
- Spread hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan, single layer, and bake in a 350º oven, for about 7 to 10 minutes or until fragrant.
- Watch closely, as they burn easily, and shake pan several times. The skins will begin to crackle.
- Transfer the toasted nuts to a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel, bundle the nuts in the towel and set aside just until they are cool enough to handle.
- Rub the nuts briskly, then open the bundle and use your fingers to rub the papery skins from the nuts.
- Don't worry if some of the nuts refuse to be totally skinned.
- Store in an airtight container.
Keywords: hazelnut loaf cake