Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hazelnut Torte and a Giveaway

When blogger friend, Cathy,  Wives with Knivesadded a "store" to her blog, I was excited.  I knew for years that Cathy owns "The Bavarian Nut Company" in her native Oregon.  Hazelnuts are in her store, so I knew I would have to have some.  I have never lived where they are readily available year-round, so this was a treat.

I remember my grandmother using hazelnuts in her holiday baking, though I was not able to find any of her recipes.  So I did a search, ended up combining several recipes, and came up with my own, so am giving no credit for this recipe.  I will still be working on perfection, but the taste is so good, perhaps looks don't always count.

I ordered both hazelnut flour/meal and whole hazelnuts.  I made two layers of cake.  I halved the recipe and made one layer with whole hazelnuts that I ground and one layer using the the hazelnut meal/flour.  The whole hazelnuts that I ground up made a much lighter layer.  The meal/flour layer seemed a little more "sticky" and dense.  I baked each batter in a 9 inch round cake pan.  In retrospect, I would have used 3 cake pans instead of get the picture.  Because of wanting the batter to be separate, I forged ahead.

I decided to add a layer of apricot jam to the top of each layer.  I then added a spread of chocolate ganache between the layers, on top and down the sides.  I had a little trouble controlling the ganache, getting it to the right consistency.  It is 80 degrees today in Florida, the air conditioning is on.  The cake now sits in the refrigerator.  The ganache is stiffening.  sigh.  Still, it really does taste great.  Of course, a small glass of Frangelico goes nicely with it also.

Hazelnut Torte

2 cups hazelnuts, ground
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons flour
8 eggs

Line the bottom of 3 round 9" cake pans with parchment paper.  Butter and flour the pans including the parchment paper on the bottoms.  Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

In food processor, blend the hazelnuts, sugar, flour and baking powder until the nuts are finely ground into a powder-like consistency and until everything is blended well.

Add 8 eggs and process well.

Pour into the cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove the cake layers to a cooling rack.

Ganache Frosting

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2 pound finely chopped semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil over low moderate heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted.  Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

After the ganache has cooled and slightly thickened, spread over the first layer of cake and continue adding the layers.  Spread the frosting on top and over the sides of the cake.

In the photo above, the hazelnut meal/flour is the bottom layer and the hazelnuts that I ground are in the top layer.  Either would work.  I am so happy that Cathy offers such wonderful treats in her store.  While shopping there, please be sure to pick up some of her Bavarian Roasted nuts.  I can definitely cheer for the almonds!!!

Now here is the good news!  Cathy at Wives with Knives has graciously offered a giveaway of a bag of her wonderful cinnamon almonds and a bag of hazelnut flour/meal.  All you have to do is run over to her store and come back here and leave a comment and tell me what you like best from her Bavarian Nut Store, and you will be entered. This giveaway will close at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, December 14.  This will give Cathy time to mail your treats before Christmas.  Hurry on over now to The Bavarian Nut Company. 

The Bavarian Nut Company


  1. The torte looks lovely; nice job of combining recipes to make your own!

  2. Your Hazelnut Torte looks wonderful! If I only had a fork and was a few miles closer!

  3. Susan, your torte looks fantastic and I can't wait to try the recipe. I love what you did: experiment with different products to find the best results. That's the sign of a truly dedicated cook. An apricot jam glaze and ganache frosting remind me of the famous Sacher Torte. Oh dear, my mouth is watering now and I'm hungry for dessert. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway.

  4. Hazelnuts rock. I remember traveling in Oregon and they even use the shells as much.

    I have no doubt that your hazelnut cake was delicious. The apricot jam is a really nice touch.


  5. I love nuts! Over at Cathy's I would have loved to taste the gluten free granola, also one of my favourite foods. Thanks to both of you for this giveaway offer!

  6. What a delicious looking cake...Hungarians often combine apricot with chocolate and hazelnuts, too! Did you toast you hazelnuts first, Susan? That flavor is fabulous....I loved looking at The Bavarian Nut company and already ordered the sugared pralines for my daughter and her family. I don't dare order them for myself. Way too much temptation! But that's probably my favorite thing there. Maybe someday, when I've lost about 50 pounds!

  7. Susan, you did a fabulous job of combining the recipes and your finished product is so pretty.

    What a great give-away from you and Cathy. I have such a hard time finding hazelnuts, I would probably chose the whole ones.

  8. Anonymous6:07 AM

    I would easily put this cake in the top 10 of Schnitzel's culinary skills. And I should know!! Trout

  9. Your cake looks delicious Susan. Thanks to both you and Cathy for this great giveaway. I would love a Wives with knives apron. I've always loved the title of Cathy's blog.

  10. Susan, your torte looks delicious! It definitely sounds like a hit and would make a great holiday dessert.

    Lucky you with the 80 degrees. 30 here and snow flurries... Have a good week, my friend!

  11. What a beautiful torte. I just need a side of sahne. Yes, please. What a great way to showcase Cathy's wonderful products.

  12. Susan, you did a marvelous job with your torte. It looks wonderful! Using hazelnut flour is a great idea, I'd love to try it.
    I must live under a rock as I had no idea that was Cathy's store! Good for her. Nice giveaway.

  13. What a delicious-looking torte, Susan! I love the sound of the apricot preserves with hazelnuts and chocolate together.

    What a wonderful giveaway of Cathy's Bavarian nuts. I love hazelnuts so much I usually have a bowl of them during the holidays for cracking so the whole ones would be my pick.

  14. The hazelnuts!

    shankyuoverymuch11 (At) yahoo dot com

  15. So glad I made it by the deadline! LOL! The coconut almond crunch sounds very, very good! ;)

    Your recipe sounds absolutely divine, Susan!! I so wish I lived right next door! I'd bring wine! ;) blessings ~ tanna

  16. What a lovely and delicious torte, Susan. It is truly in keeping with the richness of the season. I'd love to share a slice of it with you and Dale. Have a healthy and happy holiday. Hugs and blessings...Mary

  17. What a spectacular torte, Susan! And thanks for reminding me about Cathy's store...I'd much rather support her than Walmart!!!!

  18. Beautiful torte! Looks like we are both loving hazelnuts this week;-)

  19. Sorry i missed this post; love your combination of ingredients.