Tag Archives: gluten free

Hazelnut Torte – Hazelnuts Never Tasted So Good!

hazelnuts hazelnuts

Celiac’s disease and gluten intolerance is now affecting thousands of people around the world.  But having Celiac’s, which makes one intolerant to wheat, barley, and rye should not inhibit a person from enjoying a great dessert.  Last week I made a hazelnut cake which is great for the gluten intolerant individual.  It is rich and tasty and has the toasty taste and aroma of hazelnuts.  But happily, it is gluten free! Below is the recipe for the cake, the hazelnut filling and the chocolate buttercream I used for decoration.  Bon appetit!

Hazelnut Cake (adapted from Viennese Desserts Made Easy by Georgina Gronner)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

2. Toast peeled hazelnuts in 350 degree oven until they are a light golden color. (About 7-10 minutes).

3. Whisk egg yolks, egg, and sugar together on high in a mixer until they are pale yellow and fluffy.  (about 5-6 minutes).

4. Fold in ground hazelnuts with rubber spatula.

5. In a separate bowl whik egg whites until they make a soft peak.  Be careful not to overwhip.

6. Stir 1/3 of egg whites into egg yolks to lighten the batter.  Gently fold in remaining egg whites and pour into prepared pan. Bake immediately.

7. Bake about 30 minutes until cake is golden brown and springs back.

Chocolate Hazelnut Filling (adapted from Viennese Desserts Made Easy by Georgina Gronner)

  • 2/3 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons rum

1. Cook hazelnuts and sugar over medium heat until hazelnuts and sugar are a light caramel color.  On low heat add egg yolks, milk and chocolate and cook until mixture thickens.  Cool hazelnut mixture.

2.  Whip butter until light and fluffy in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Add hazelnut mixture and whip until filling is light and fluffy.

Chocolate buttercream (adapted from Culinary Institute of America Italian Buttercream recipe)

  • 4 oz egg whites
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 12 oz cold butter, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 oz chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons rum

1. Prepare egg whites in mixing bowl with whisk attachment

2.  Measure sugar into heavy bottomed pot.  Add water to sugar until sugar is consistency of wet sand.  Wash down sides of pot with water so that NO SUGAR is on sides of pot.  Cook sugar until it reaches 240 degrees F.  When sugar is at 235 F start whipping egg whites.

3. Egg whites should be opaque and mixer should be on medium low speed.  Start streaming in hot sugar slowly.  After all sugar is incorporated turn mixer to high and whisk until the bowl feels body temperature.

4. Add butter slowly and whisk until the mixture emulsifies.  It should look satiny and taste smooth and creamy.

5. Melt chocolate and stream into buttercream when the chocolate is body temperature.  Add rum.

Cake Assembly

1. To assemble cake, slice cake into three layers.  Use hazelnut filling between 1st and 2nd and 2nd and third layer.  Use chocolate buttercream to ice and finish cake.  If desired, caramelized hazelnuts can be used for decoration. Enjoy a slice of this cake with Frangelico liqueur.  This hazelnut liqueur will pick up the hazelnut flavors in the cake quite nicely.

hazelnut cake

Walnut Meringue Cookies : Czech Cookies at Their Finest

Remember when you wanted to be just like mom? Do your hair like mom and dress like mom and bake like mom?  Well, I definitely do.  My mother used to bake European delicacies professionally so as kids we usually had to step aside and let her do her thing.  When we got to actually participate in making these delicate cookies it was such a treat. I remember the first time I watched my mom pipe the pillowy meringue on top of the Czech walnut cookies and thinking, I wish I could bake just like her!!!! Now, I’m a little older and hey, I still want to bake just like mom! Because Czech cookies are light and delicate and airy and you can eat them by the handfuls.  And believe me when I say you will be able to put away quite a few of these cookies before you even blink! These cookies are also naturally gluten free so if you are keeping to a strict diet they will be your new best friend.  They are beautiful but simple as the recipe below indicates. Enjoy!!!!

Walnut Cookie Base

210 g walnuts, hand ground

210 g confectionary sugar

1 egg

1 tsp lemon rind

Preheat oven to 225 F. Grease cookie sheet. Grind walnuts by hand using hand grinder.

ground walnutswalnuts with hand grinder

Combine on the counter with the confectionary sugar, egg, and lemon.  Use a bench scraper or knife to combine ingredients and then form the ingredients into a dough with your hands.  Chill the dough about 10-15 minutes.  Dust counter with confectionary sugar and roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Use a round cookie cutter to cut rounds out of the dough and place rounds on cookie sheet.

Meringue

4 oz egg white

8 oz sugar (superfine if you can find it)

Once cookie base has been prepared whip the meringue.  Place egg whites in a kitchen aid mixer and mix for 20-30 seconds on high before gradually adding the sugar to the whites.  It should take about 5-10 minutes to incorporate the sugar and the whites should be glossy and have a stiff peak.  Use a piping bag to pipe the meringue on top of the cookie rounds.  Bake cookies about 1 hour to 1.5 hours in a very slow oven.  Cookies are done when the base is cooked and the meringue is crisp but not brown.

walnut circles walnut rounds with piped meringue