I just hosted a Danish dinner party for my Danish friends and since it is close to Easter I wanted to make a dessert with a seasonal feel to it. I came across this layered cake and not only does it look like a pretty Easter cake but it has all the good things in it that is popular in Danish baking; hazelnuts, Nougat and Marzipan, what’s not to like? As for the special ingredients, I buy Nougat and Marzipan online (I use Odense Ren Rå Marcipan), and the hazelnuts I found in a specialty grocery store.
A little note about hazelnuts. Hazelnut is a sweet nut with a dark brown skin covering which is bitter and if left on, it may leave unpleasant little left-over pieces in your mouth. So when hazelnuts are used for baking, you may want to remove this skin covering, although it is not absolutely necessary.
This is not a difficult cake to make, maybe a little time consuming, and it is one of the best layered cakes I have ever made (with the exception of my all-time favorite Othello layered cake of course). I think you will really love this cake!
Hazelnut Cake With Nougat Cream (serves 12-14)
For the cake:
100 g hazelnuts, out of shell (3.5 oz)
175 g Odense Marzipan (6.2 oz)
100 g confectioner sugar (3.5 oz)
30 g all-purpose flour (1 oz)
6 egg whites, room temperature
125 g sugar (4.4 oz)
For the frosting:
6 deciliter heavy whipping cream, divided into 2 and 4 deciliters (20.3 liquid ounces, divided into 6.8 and 13.5)
300 g soft Nougat (10.5 oz)
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
Cadbury mini chocolate eggs
To removed skin on hazelnuts: preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until skin begins to crack and is golden. Remove from oven and wrap nuts in a clean dishtowel, let sit wrapped for 10 min. Using the towel, rub the nuts vigorously until the skin comes off. Set nuts aside.
Cut out two pieces of parchment paper to fit two 9 inch (23 cm) spring-form pans. Place parchment paper in bottom of pans and spray with baking spray, set aside.
Preheat oven to 280 degrees F (140 degrees C).
Place hazelnuts, marzipan, confectioners sugar and flour in a food processor and process until ground finely.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks, add sugar and whip until you have a thick meringue.
Add ground hazelnuts to meringue and gently fold-in until you have a homogeneous batter. Divide the batter equally between the two pans and bake for 1 hour. Allow cakes to cool in pans.
Place 2 deciliter whipping cream into a small saucepan and heat to just a simmer. Cut Nougat into pieces and add to hot cream, melt while stirring. Heat 1 tablespoon water in the microwave until boiling (10-15 seconds), add instant coffee and stir to resolve. Add coffee to Nougat mixture. Place Nougat in refrigerator to cool completely.
When ready to assemble cake, whip remaining 4 deciliter whipping cream until beaters start leaving traces in cream. Add cooled Nougat mixture and mix to combine. Place first cake onto serving platter. Spread a layer of Nougat cream over cake. Place second cake on top and spread remaining cream on top and down the sides of cake to cover. Decorate with chocolate eggs if desired. Continue to cool in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy!
Source: Odense Marcipan