The flavours that I find hard to resist in desserts are hazelnut and coffee and this cake is made with hazelnut meal and real coffee, freshly made espresso for maximum flavour. If you make this please don't use instant coffee. The cake itself is almost sponge like, it's still soft, moist and light but the hazelnut gives it such amazing character and texture that you just don't find in regular sponge cakes.
To top it off, I've given it a matt finish - a mix of icing sugar, dutch cocoa, hazelnut meal and coffee.
250 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
220 grams melted butter, cooled
3 eggs, separated
200 grams raw caster sugar
3/4 cup brewed coffee
80 grams ground hazelnuts
Sift the flour and baking powder together and set to one side.
Place the egg whites into a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form - set to one side.
Place the yolks and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. With the motor on a low speed, slowly pour in the cooled melted butter - beat until it has all been absorbed.
Now with the motor still running, pour in the coffee, followed by the sifted flour before finally adding the ground hazelnuts. Stop as soon as the mixture has come together.
Take a large metal spoon and scoop in a third of the beaten egg whites - fold this through to slacken the mixture before adding the remaining egg whites. Carefully fold together until just combined.
Pour the batter into a lined 22cm springform tin - smooth out the surface and bake in a pre-heated 170°C until golden and cooked through - this should take between 40 and 50 minutes.
Let it cool slightly in the tin before unmoulding.
To make the topping:
I just made this to taste by blending pure icing sugar, dutch cocoa and hazelnut meal with a little coffee to make a spreadable mixture.
This cake has far surpassed my expectations - it has amazing keeping qualities and even five days after it was made it still tastes as fresh. It is as light as a sponge but there a lovely chewiness that comes from the ground hazelnuts. It doesn't really need anything else besides a good espresso to enjoy it with.