Hazelnut Cake

The  Cake:

6 eggs, separated

1 whole egg

1 cup ground hazelnuts

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon flour

The Filling:


  cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


The Decoration:

1/3 cup ground hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the whole egg together with a wire whisk, or rotary or electric beater, continuing to beat until the mixture is thick and light yellow in color.  Gradually beat in ½ cup of the sugar, then the nuts and the bread crumbs.  Continue to beat until the mixture forms a dense, moist mass.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the wire whisk or rotary or electric beater until they begin to foam, then add ¼ cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Continue to beat until the whites form stiff, unwavering peaks when the beater is lifted from the bowl.  With a rubber spatula, mix about ¼ of the whites into the hazelnut mixture, the sprinkle the flour over it and gently fold in the rest of the whites.  Continue to fold until no trace of the whites remains.  Be careful not to over fold.

Butter and flour 10-inch spring form pan.  Turn the pan over and strike it on the table to remove any excess flour.  Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula and bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it shrinks away slightly from the side of the pan.  Remove the upper part of the pan as soon as you take it from the oven and let the cake cool, then slice it into two equal layers, using a long, sharp, serrated knife.

The Filling:  Whip the chilled cream with a wire whisk or rotary or electric beater until it begins to thicken.  Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until the cream holds its shape firmly.

Reconstruct the cake by first placing the bottom layer on a sheet of wax paper at least 18 inches square.  Spread whipped cream on top to a thickness of ½ inch and place the other layer over it.  With a spatula, completely mask the cake with the rest of the whipped cream.

The Decoration:  Scatter the 1/3 cup of hazelnuts on the wax paper around the cake.  Then lift a small portion of the paper and tow the nuts on to the cake.  Repeat until all the nuts are used Serve at once.