Hazelnut Flour Meringue Cake with Coffee Vanilla Cream

I made this cake two years in a row as the main dessert for Christmas lunch. Last year it was quite an experiment, with many rules and techniques not followed, in order to create a recipe for the cake that will satisfy all the set conditions from the start. Parts of the cake, and the cake itself, had to be made 2-3 days before Christmas day, to spread the workload evenly during pre-Christmas cooking. The cake had to have 24-48 hours maturation period in the fridge, after which the texture had to remain the same. I wanted to get the dense, but soft and moist cake, with the deep and sophisticated taste. Over-baked to completely hard texture, hazelnut flour meringues, paired with coffee vanilla cream, provided the desired taste, so much so, that this year it was a very easy decision for me to make this cake in larger size, enough to feed family and friends.

To make this cake happen you need to get a unique product – hazelnut flour –  not your typical hazelnut meal – finely ground hazelnuts – but a product, where part of the hazelnut oil had been pressed out of hazelnuts. Hazelnut flour has high protein and fibre content and reduced fat (30%), compared to regular hazelnut meal. In order to make a larger cake with 6 layers, I increased the quantity of ingredients for the meringue (to 6 egg whites, instead of 4 in original recipe), but left quantities  of ingredients for the cream unchanged. The quantity of cream, made with 4 egg yolks and 600 ml of whipping cream, is enough for all 6 layers and side of the cake. You might have even some cream left to enjoy.

Ingredients:

hazelnut flour meringue

  • 6 egg whites
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 12g vanilla sugar
  • 150g hazelnut flour (30% fat), sifted

coffee vanilla cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 240g/ml milk
  • 40g corn starch
  • 100g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 5-7ml Calvados (apple brandy), 1 tea or dessert spoon
  • 60ml strong filtered coffee, prepared from 20g roasted ground coffee beans in 120ml of boiling water

separately

  • 600g whipping cream
  • 40g coconut sugar (or any other unrefined aromatic sugar, Panela or Muscovado)

separately

  • 4 gold grade leaves of gelatin, 2g min in each, better to have total weight close to 9g

extras for cake decoration

  • roasted and blended hazelnuts
  • quality dark grated chocolate or chocolate granules
  • icing sugar

Preparation:

For the convenience to my readers, I repeat step by step preparation instructions from the first published recipe for a smaller cake, with all necessary modifications, applicable to the larger version of the cake.

hazelnuts (if using them to decorate the cake)

  • place hazelnuts on a tray, lined with baking paper
  • roast them in the 140-150C oven for 15-20 minutes
  • cool hazelnuts, remove the skin
  • blend hazelnuts and separate the product into 3 fractions: hazelnut meal, small pieces and larger pieces, putting the mixture through the sieve/s

  • use the second fraction, with small particles, to decorate the cake (apply on sides and top of the cake)

coffee cream

  • pour boiling water over strong ground coffee beans, let it stand for 15-20 minutes
  • line small sieve with a piece of paper towel
  • pour coffee and collect filtered liquid, measure 60 ml
  • mix egg yolks with sugar in a saucepan with rounded thick bottom
  • add corn flour, mix it in with a whisk to even texture
  • add milk in portions, stirring through
  • add filtered coffee, stir the mixture with a whisk
  • place gelatin in cold water, put aside to soak, keep it close
  • cook  cream on a low heat, it will start to thicken fast and sudden, take it from the heat, whisk vigorously to prevent lumps, soft lumps are easy to break, reheat cream if necessary to be completely cooked (you can use whisk attachment to a stick blender to blend cooked cream to even texture)
  • add Calvados, mix it in
  • squeeze water from soaked gelatin
  • add gelatin to warm cream and whisk it in until it is fully dissolved
  • leave the cream to cool down completely, periodically whisking it to prevent the formation of the skin on the surface
  • in a separate bowl, the one you will use vanilla cream to set, whisk cream with sugar
  • when thick pastry cream reaches room temperature combine it and whisked cream together, whisk the mixture thoroughly to combine
  • cover the bowl with cling wrap

  • store coffee cream overnight to set, it is best done in a glass bowl with rounded bottom
  • mix or whisk coffee cream before using, it changes the texture from set to velvety soft and smooth
  • cream after being set overnight

  • whisk it thoroughly

  • the cream will become smooth and velvety, and it will keep the shape when applied through pastry bag with any type of the tip

hazelnut flour meringue

  • prepare 2 sheets of baking paper, use pencil on the other side of the paper to mark rectangle 30 cm x 24 cm, do not grease the paper
  • put hazelnut flour through a sieve, leave larger particles to other projects, or as a topping for ice cream
  • beat egg whites to soft peaks
  • continue beating while adding sugar by table spoon
  • beat egg whites with sugar until hard peaks
  • add sifted hazelnut flour to beaten eggs
  • carefully fold it in
  • spread meringue to fit marked layers on two lined baking trays
  • try to make its surface as flat as possible
  • bake in preheated to 140C fan forced oven for 50-60 minutes
  • leave meringues in the switched off oven to rest and cool down (meringue will be overbaked, hard and dry)
  • when meringues are completely cool, carefully peel the paper from the bottom
  • using long serrated bread knife carefully cut each meringue in 3 pieces 10 cm x 24 cm each, do not rush
  • you can store meringues in sealed container for several days without change in texture

cake assembly

  • select the top and bottom layers of meringue layers
  • assembly cake on a an oversized piece of baking paper, that will allow later to move the cake easily
  • use generous portions of cream between meringue layers
  • try to spread cream in the same thickness
  • use spatula or palette knife to make cake top and sides flat
  • apply ground hazelnuts to the top and sides of the cake
  • it is a tall cake, it would be better to store the cake where its shape is initially supported, I use long springform pan for that

  • I covered the top of the cake with foil dome
  • refrigerate the cake at least overnight
  • the cake will become completely soft after 36-48 hours and will not change its texture with longer storage
  • as we expected a humid day, I applied chocolate granules and icing sugar to decorate the cake before serving

  • Christmas dear stencils allowed to get not so perfect image, the chocolate with icing sugar looked nice as the ground covered with snow, which slowly “melted” in humid environment

  • the cake is very easy to cut in neat slices
  • served with cream or clotted cream, the cake was a pure indulgence, but it was Christmas lunch, and it was perfect with a cup of strong coffee

Happy New Year to all of my subscribers and readers!

Thank you for still being with me.

Irena

12 thoughts on “Hazelnut Flour Meringue Cake with Coffee Vanilla Cream

  1. Looks absolutely great 👍 as usual Irena!!!! Happy New Year you and your family!!!!! Wish a wonderful year 2020 !🎊🥂🎆🎉👍🍾🎁🌟✨✨✨✨

    1. I am genuinely surprised how good the combination of cream and hazelnuts layer worked out. Layers swelled absorbing some of the moisture from the cream, became like dense and moist sponge. It is truly an amazing product – hazelnut flour with reduced fat content. So easy to use with such great results!

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