hazelnut-coriander cake
godzillacakeflog.jpg.... aka, Mo & Patrick's wedding cake.

This ia hazelnut-coriander layer cake, with praline ganache filling and a chocolate glaze over the top. When you get the glaze exactly right, it almost looks like a fondant - so smooth and shiny. The goal was to get a moist cake with the tiniest hint of spice - one you can detect, but not identify. The cake was adapted from the Hazelnut Torte in Claudia Fleming's The Last Course (and in turn, hers was adapted from Lindsey Shere's almond torte). (Truthfully, I just added the coriander. The rest of the recipe is hers.) The ganache and the glaze are from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible.

For each layer of the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
8 oz unsweetened hazelnut paste (I ordered mine from Sugarcraft. Search for filbert paste or praline paste.)
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground coriander

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 9" cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and then butter the paper and flour the entire pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth. Add the hazelnut paste and beat until just incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and coriander. Sift a third of it into the wet ingredients and gently fold to combine. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients in two additions, folding gently after each.

3. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center. The torte should be puffy in the center ans should spring back when lightly pressed.

4. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.

my notes: in my convection oven, I baked 2 layers for 45 minutes at 300. You can do two layers at once in a Kitchenaid if you're careful, but you run the risk of different layer heights that way.

Whipped Praline Ganache
Makes enough to fill a 9" 2 layer cake, with some left over.

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% Scharffenberger.)
2 liquid cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup hazelnut paste

Break the choclate into pieces and process ina food processer until very fine. Add the hazelnut paste, and process until combined.

Heat the cream to the boiling point, and with the motor running, pour it through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process a few seconds until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl of an electric mixer and refrigerate until cold, stirring once or twice. Don't let it get too cold, or it will be too stiff to incorporate air.

Add the vanilla and beat the mixture just until very soft peaks form when the beater is raised. It will continue to thicken after a few minutes at room temperature.

If the mixture gets overbeaten and grainy, it can be resotred by remelting, chilling, and rebeating.

Chocolate Cream Glaze
Makes 2 full cups, enough to glaze a 1-layer 9" cake (with some leftover).
Note: I found I needed 1.5x the recipe to glaze a 2 layer 9" cake.

9oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 7oz 60% Scharffenberger with 2oz of their milk chocolate)
1 liquid cup heavy cream

To prepare cake for glazing: brush all crumbs from the surface and place on a cardboard round the same size as the cake. Suspend the cake on a rack set on a baking sheet to catch the exceess glaze. It's best to have enough glaze to cover with one application: touch-ups don't produce as flawless a surface. (Trust her on this one.)

To prepare the glaze: Break the chocolate into pieces and process in a food processor until very fine. Remove the chocolate to a small heavy saucepan.

Heat the cream to the boiling point and pour three quarters of it over the chocolate. Cover for five minutes to allow chocolate to melt. Gently stir together until smooth, trying not to create air bubbles. Pass through a fine strainer, and allow to cool until just tepid.

Check for consistency: At a tepid temperature a small amount of glaze should mound a bit when dropped from a spoon before smoothly disappearing. If the glaze is too thick and the mound remains on the surface or if the glaze seems curdled, add some of the remaining warm cream by the teaspoon. If the glaze is too thin, gently stir in a small amount of melted chocolate. When the consistency is correct, use at once or store and reheat.

The glaze should be poured onto the center of the cake, allowing the excess to flow down the sides. Smooth quickly and evenly with a large metal spatula, moving it lightly back and forth across the top until smooth.

Allow the cake to set for at least 3 hours at room temperature. Don't refridgerate.

Posted by shock on October 29, 2004 | TrackBack

wow! now i'm even more disappointed that i only got one bite. ;)

Posted by: mo on October 29, 2004 11:38 AM

That makes me so sad. 8(

Posted by: meriko on October 29, 2004 11:50 AM

Lordie that pic is beautiful! What a gorgeous cake!

Posted by: beca on October 29, 2004 12:52 PM

WOW that recipe sounds good. sadly, i will probably never taste this cake unless you happen to bake it again... it's just too much work for even me to do for just myself, and it's so rare i get a chance to feed others...

wow, though. you are a genius and that is one gorgeous, gorgeous cake.

Posted by: Meredith on October 29, 2004 3:54 PM

And the kicker in all of this - there were actually THREE of them there.... ;)

Posted by: meriko on October 29, 2004 7:18 PM
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