If you know me, you know that I love cookbooks. So much so that I have published four. My collection has grown exponentially over the years and I just love to share books whenever I can to inspire others to explore different cuisines and techniques.
My friend Cristi has been cooking up a storm since COVID has brought us all indoors with extra time. She just posted this hazelnut cake that she made from the French Roots Cookbook with rave reviews. Now it is on my must-make list. It is not too sweet making it perfect for breakfast, teatime or dessert. The recipe makes me nostalgic for my youth when my grandparents lived on the farm next door. They had three magnificent hazelnut trees and each year, my brothers, cousins and I would be tasked with gathering the nuts and fighting the squirrels for the bounty.
The French Roots Cookbook is written by Chez Panisse executive chef Jean-Pierre and Denise Moulle — a love story about their life with recipes inspired by France and California. I was lucky enough to dine at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and it remains one of my most memorable meals.
Peyraut Hazelnut Cake
French Roots Cookbook
4 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
½ cup almond flour or blanched almonds, finely ground
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, ground hazelnuts, almond flour, and flour.
In a separate bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks with a pinch of salt and then gently fold them into the nut-sugar mixture. Mix in the butter and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, and the cake has slightly pulled away from the edge of the pan.
Serve at room temperature with whipped or poured heavy cream.
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