The second annual Epiphany Party, the twelfth day of Christmas was held this past Sunday. Last year I made The Gift Cake so I thought I would continue the tradition of making a cake.
I saw the recipe for Oscar’s Torta recently published in the January 2013 edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine. This cake, with lots of hazelnuts, is named for Oscar II (1829-1907), king of Sweden and Norway.
12 egg whites, room temperature
3 3/4 C powdered sugar
15 oz hazelnuts, chopped fine
1 3/4 sticks butter, plus more for pans
8 egg yolks
1 C cream
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 TBSP sliced almonds toasted,for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment. Separate eggs, placing 12 egg whites in 1 bowl and 8 egg yolks in another (reserve remaining 4 yolks for another use). Beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in hazelnuts and confectioners’ sugar. Divide among pans, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely. (Cake layers can be made 1 day ahead, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated.)
Lightly whisk egg yolks in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk in cream, granulated sugar, and salt, whisking constantly until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, and let cool in a bowl of ice water until cold (you should have 2 cups).
Melt butter (do not let it color), and add vanilla. Stir into egg-yolk mixture. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate, and spread with 1/2 cup glaze. Repeat with a second layer and another 1/2 cup glaze. Place third layer on top, and spread with remaining 1 1/2 cups glaze, letting it drip down sides of cake. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and garnish with almonds. Refrigerate until ready to serve
1. One of my friends discouraged me from making the cake due to the cost and labor intensive prep of the hazelnuts. 15 ounces of hazelnuts cost $5.50 which wasn’t too bad. The challenge was the removal of the hazelnut skins and chopping of the nuts. My daughter looked up on the internet this website on how to shell hazelnuts. Luckily I didn’t have to crack the nuts open, only remove the bitter skins.
2. After roasting the nuts in the oven I placed them in a wet towel to steam for 2-3 minutes. I then rubbed them in a towel to remove the skins. It took me several attempts at repeating the process to get the skins removed. About a quarter of the nuts still had the skins adhered. Apparently that small amount doesn’t cause any bitterness to the entire recipe.
3. The entire preparation of the cake and glaze took four hours, which was about the entire length of a football game. My spouse was busy watching the Packers v. Vikings game. He was happy the Packers won. I was really tired by the time it was all completed.
4. The cake was a hit at the Epiphany Party. A woman who is gluten-free was excited about the cake and wanted the recipe.
5. If the recipe had some cocoa in the recipe it would replicate the flavor of Nutella, which I am a fan. Maybe next time.
- Nutella Yule Log (underthebluegumtree.com)
- The Home Bakers #13: Dark Chocolate-Almond Cake (foodiebaker.com)
- Banana, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Muffins (Gluten-Free) (dishesanddishes.wordpress.com)