I love to cook, but I don’t know how to bake to save my life. I’m actually a bit nervous around ovens. I didn’t really grow up with one in Asia. I learned how to cook in an outdoor kitchen with tropical ingredients. None of my family members baked. B’s birthday is coming up next week. I thought that I would be adventurous and try to bake him a cake. My last cake for his birthday couple years back was not so good. I should have taken photos to save it for some sort of art project. It was a sad little cake. Eeekk! I’m obsessed looking for cake recipes on line. Here is one that I might do a test run this weekend. Chocolate and hazelnut meringue cake.
I was also inspired by Evangelina’s current window. It is an autumn baking scene. All of our baking tools such as measuring cups, flour, pans, sugar and etc… are all in the window. Might have to run to the shop and fetch couple things out from there. Hard to bake without measuring cups.
I hope that mind will turn out pretty and eatable like these lovely pics. Off on a baking adventure. Wish me lots and lots of luck. Please visit our IDOM girls Caitlin and Velia today. They are are so nice to let me have a day to do a test run on this recipe. Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Below is the recipe in case you want to be brave with me.
posted by m
Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake
– Now is not the time to use the cheap-o chocolate. Get the best quality bittersweet chocolate you can find as it is the star of the recipe. (Guittard, Callebaut, Valrhona, El Rey, Scharffen Berger, etc…)
– To toast the hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350F and spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
– To skin the nuts without driving yourself crazy, place them in a mesh bag (like a recycled orange or lemon bag) and rub the nuts between your hand over the sink. The skins will fall and only the “naked” nuts will remain in your bag.
– The cake at room temperature is excellent but served really cold, it becomes even fudgier and the meringue gives slightly under your tooth like a soft pavlova. Brilliant!
For the cake:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
6 large whole eggs, separated
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso (or vanilla)
1 1/2 tablespoons rum (optional)(not with us!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the meringue:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (1 cup)
1 cup hazelnuts (about 4 ounces), toasted and skinned (see notes)and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
Prepare the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and brown sugar until pale and smooth at medium speed, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bottom and sides of your bowl if necessary. Add the melted chocolate, espresso (or vanilla), rum, if using, and salt. Beat until combined. Transfer to a clean bowl and wash your mixing bowl thoroughly.
In a clean mixer bowl fitted the whisk attachment, beat the 6 egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites and pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 25 minutes.
Prepare the meringue:
Combine the chopped chocolate, nuts and cornstarch in a small bowl, and set aside. Place remaining 4 egg whites in a clean mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Fold in hazelnut mixture.
Assemble and Finish:
Remove cake from oven. Using a large offset spatula, spread meringue mixture on top of cake using as little strokes as possible not to deflate the meringue, and return to oven. Bake until meringue is lightly browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let stand 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, and release sides of pan. Let cool, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.