Every self-respecting Dutch baker has a version of this hazelnut cake. Chef Geert Elzinga from Sydney's Essen Restaurant shares his version of this classic dessert, which features a delicate hazelnut meringue under a sweet but intense coffee-cream filling.
- 300 g hazelnuts,
- 8 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 385 g (1¾ cups) caster sugar
- 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g icing sugar
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) freshly brewed espresso, cooled
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 1½ hours
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Preheat oven to 160˚C fan forced. Place hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast for 8–10 minutes until skins begin to darken. Remove from the oven, wrap in a clean tea towel and rub to remove skins. Set 50 g hazelnuts aside. Reduce oven to 90˚C fan forced.
Allow the remaining hazelnuts to cool, then grind 250 g in a food processor until finely ground. Place ground hazelnuts in a bowl and combine with sieved flour.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites, caster sugar and salt in an electric mixer on medium-high for about 8–10 minutes until you have a thick and glossy meringue. Add the ground hazelnut mixture and gently fold through.
Draws 2 x 24 cm circles on baking paper and place on baking trays. Divide meringue between the two trays and spread to 2 cm thick. Transfer the trays to the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Swap trays around and bake for a further 45–50 minutes until crisp and the bottom is cooked through and solid. Turn the oven off and allow meringues to cool for 1½ hours with the door slightly ajar.
Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the icing sugar in batches, beating well between each addition until fully combined. With the motor running slowly, pour in the coffee and beat until combined.
Place one meringue round on a serving platter and cover with half the coffee cream. Place the second round on top and cover with the remaining coffee cream. Roughly chop the reserved hazelnuts and sprinkle over the top.
Photography by Alan Benson