Friday, 2 November 2007

Hazelnut cake with curd cheese and black tea cream : My layered cake dream just came true

I've kept my promise.

Who would have guessed? I made this yum curd cheese mousse with black tea in late August and promised to make a layered hazelnut cake with black tea egg-buttercream filling. And...well...I almost kept it. That's a start, right?:)

Maria Öhrn is a fabulous Swedish cookbook author. I browsed through her
'Tårtor' (or 'Tordid' in Estonian, I don't know if it's been translated to English) in a bookstore, said some kind words about it and ended up getting two of these books for my birthday.

Better 2 than none, right? Anyway, although the book contains only about 30 recipes, they are all so very different and most of them have this nice twist to them. I love twists. I could eat twists every day. For this layered cake I used Maria's recipe for hazelnut cake (originally paired with canned pears and Nutella!)

Hazelnut cake with curd cheese and black tea cream
(cake base recipe from Maria Öhrn's 'Tårtor' (Cakes))

200 g hazelnuts
1 dl potato starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 ml salt
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 dl sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 batch of curd cheese mousse with black tea
for decorating: black tea glazed apples and caramelized hazelnuts
  1. Grind hazelnuts well using a food processor or a coffee grinder
  2. Mix hazelnut flour with potato starch, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a clean and dry bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  4. Beat the yolks slightly with sugar using a whisk, add dry ingredients and milk to the mixture
  5. Gradually add the egg white.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 24 cm springform pan. Bake at 175C for about 45 minutes (it took me only about 35). Let the cake cool completely
  7. Cut the cake into two layers and spread the curd cheese mousse between them and on the top and the sides (Use quite much of it between the layers). Chill at least for a couple of hours before serving.
  8. If you wish, decorate with black tea glazed apples and caramelized hazelnuts, setting the apples in the center of the cake and the nuts along the sides. This can be done either before or after chilling the cake.

Black tea glazed apples

(adapted from Epicurious)

2 smaller apples
1 dl sugar
2 teabags of black tea
powdered sugar
  1. Combine sugar with 2 dl of water in a saucepan and add teabags.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile peel the apples, slice both into 8 wedges and cut out the cores.
  4. Remove teabags from the syrup and add apple wedges. Simmer at low heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the apples onto a rack (used in the oven) set over a baking tray and drain them for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven's grill function. Then sprinkle the apple wedges with some powdered sugar and put both the rack and the baking tray into the oven (you need the tray so that the liquid that drips from the apples doesn't stick to the bottom of your oven). Grill for 3-5 minutes. Let cool.

Caramelized hazelnuts

1 1/2 dl hazelnuts
2 tbsp powdered sugar
a pinch of salt

  1. Use unpeeled nuts for a rustic effect or peel them. To do that, just roast them on a dry skillet for some time and then rub the peels of with the help of a kitchen towel.
  2. Combine all three ingredients on a pan over moderate heat.
  3. When sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low and stir the nuts constantly until they are covered with caramelized sugar
  4. Pour the nuts onto a piece of foil in a single layer and cool.
My expectations were sky-high, because OF COURSE I'd tried bits and pieces of the cake when I cut it into 2 layers and it was, even at that moment, moist and rich in hazelnut flavour. I love that cookbook. In the end, it worked out really well for me, the flavours melted into each other and each bite was moist and had the sensational taste of 'I did it'. The flavours of black tea and hazelnut are both strong and I have a hunch there's something similar to them. I got the permission of making the cake again. Honoured, really, I'm honoured:D

I love how the decorations came out. The apples are really into tea, I'd say, and could make a great dessert by their own. Not peeling the hazelnuts was also a good choice, for this rustic appearance is perfect for an autumn-y cake. And if this cake doesn't say autumn then they're certainly is no autumn outside.

And I'd eat this cake every time somebody brings a store-bought obviously &#"@! vegetable fat cake with &#"@! vegetable fat cream to a family gathering. And I really don't care about good will if the cake is really lousy.
This cake isn't. Hah.


Tania said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving that lovely comment.

I'm a big fan of tortes made with ground nuts, and your hazelnut torte looks simply amazing. I wish I could stick my fork into that photo and try just a taste!

Chubbypanda said...

The black tea cream is what really does it for me. I like any recipe in which I can use Earl Grey tea.

Evelin said...

Tania, I know I'm a big fan of them too, although I've tried making only a few. It's a kind of basic knowledge for me:D

Chubbypanda, it's the same case with me! But in this recipe it's not just the tea, I loved everything. Happy coincidence:)