Hazelnut & Marzipan Cake

As I mentioned in my Hazelnut Syrup post, not using the proper hazelnuts as per the recipe turned into making this cake. There were, in fact, three things that were responsible for this cake.

Aside from the hazelnut debacle, I had been gifted a copper cake mould last summer. A colleague’s parents used to have a bakery/confectionary. After my colleague’s mother passed away she went through everything still in the bakery and found two copper cake moulds, one of which she gave to me. I was delighted and grateful, because receiving something beautiful and useful that has been used for decades and is still in such great condition is a lovely thing.

I still hadn’t made a cake in this mould but recently saw this post by Sabine of Mamangerie where she used grated marzipan in her cake. I knew I wanted to make something similar but wasn’t sure what kind of cake. Then I remembered the red wine cake recipe by a friend – funnily also called Sabine – that I decided to modify.

Lastly, I wanted to make hazelnut syrup, which I finally got around to making a couple of weeks ago, with the hazelnuts ending up in this cake instead of being discarded after the syrup making.

The hazelnut syrup recipe said brown sugar, and what I had at home was a dark, sticky muscovado sugar. I’m sure you can use other types of brown sugar, this one worked for me as it got even stickier during cooking and coated the hazelnuts nicely.

While cooking the syrup and letting it simmer on medium heat, I checked every 10 minutes for consistency. It took 3 x 10 minutes until the syrup had reduced a quarter.

The cake itself is just the “mix everything together” type and will be in the oven within 15 minutes.

I loved that the hazelnuts were initially already sticky from cooking in the syrup, that they fell in halves while stirring them into the batter, and that they were evenly distributed in the cake and didn’t sink to the bottom. I’d say that you could use more than 2 tbsp of syrup, but you’d probably still taste the hazelnuts and marzipan more than the actual syrup. Overall, this cake turned out dense yet a little moist. My first slice was eaten slightly warm, which was great, but it was equally good for breakfast the next morning.

So now I’ve ticked three things off my list – using copper cake mould, using marzipan in cake, and making hazelnut syrup. Hopefully this little success gets me into the kitchen more often this year than the last…

Hazelnut & Marzipan Cake

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Make 1 recipe hazelnut syrup using either blanched or skin-on hazelnuts, but do not crush the nuts as described in the recipe.

200 g butter, room temperature
200 g white sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
250 g flour
1 pack [= 15-17 g] baking powder or cream of tartar
150 g marzipan, coarsley grated
2 tbsp hazelnut syrup
200 g syrupy hazelnuts [left over from making the syrup]
4 egg whites, whipped into stiff peaks
butter for cake mould

Preheat oven (non-fan) to 175ยฐC / 350ยฐF.

Combine butter, sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and mix well until slightly creamy.

Add flour, baking powder/cream of tartar, grated marzipan, cocoa powder and hazelnut syrup, mix again, then stir in the hazelnuts.

Fold in the whipped egg white until it’s fully incorporated.

Butter cake mould very well, then pour in batter, and use a scraper or spatula to even out the surface.

Bake on middle shelf for 50 – 60 minutes [my cake was done in 50 minutes].

After cake is out of the oven, remove it as quickly as possible from the mould and place on a cooling rack.

Decorate with icing sugar before serving.

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