Hazelnut Cake By A Nut

September 27, 2008

When I started this blog, cooking as a topic was far from my thoughts.  I take after my mother where cooking skills are concerned.  One day, she would make an excellent dish.  Then, another day, when we are expecting to enjoy the same dish, she would serve us something entirely different though it would go by the same name.  She has a penchant for giving an ingredient a miss or adding an altogether new one every time she cooks, thus making no two versions of a dish the same, ever again.

Like my mother, I too did not use to have the habit of jotting down recipes.  On the other hand, the veteran cooks in the family, are veterans simply for the fact that they follow the recipe, handed down for generations, to the pinch.  Ofcourse, there are some who simply have a gift for it.  Like my brother, for instance.  And my husband.  I might have easily mistaken this for a masculine privilege if I had not seen this manifest in my aunts as well.  All that they touch, turn into delicious mouth watering food!  This seems to have been the case since their very first experimental dish.

As for me, cooking is forever an experiment that always results in a happy stomach but only an occasional gratified tongue.  My only consolation is so far I have caused no health risks by making people come for a second helping.  But how I would love to lay my hands on those recipes that have made every cook a success!  That is why I have asked my mother-in-law to write me the traditional day-to-day recipes.  I am also thinking of starting a seperate blog with just those recipes as and when I try each one of those.

In the meanwhile, I tried my hand at “Hazelnut Chocolate Torte” from “Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Cookbook”.  My inspiration was, once again, http://www.creampuffsinvenice.ca/.

Hazelnut Cake Collage
Hazelnut Cake Slice 

What I learnt from this experience:

1. It was not mentioned in this recipe, but roast the hazelnuts to bring out the flavor.
2. Do not grind the hazelnuts when they are warm as they would become a paste when you might want them dry.
3. You really have to be a huge fan of Hazelnuts to really appreciate this cake – it is THAT RICH.
4. If you are not that big a fan, do not help yourself to a huge slice.
5. The frosting in this recipe was amazing.  Try it with chocolate cake if you do not prefer hazelnut.

Other sites that I stumbled across during this process that are worth mentioning:

http://www.joyofbaking.com/
http://smittenkitchen.com/

Overall, this took me three days, and three injuries to self, in the form of cuts and burns, to make; and it has left me with more enthusiam to bake than ever!

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