Hazelnut Chestnut Cake
Adapted from Gina DePalma
1 cup skinned hazelnuts, toasted in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
1 ¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
10 Tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup hazelnut paste (I used chestnut paste as I couldn’t find any hazelnut paste in my neighborhood)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, shaking off the excess.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts and ¼ cup of the flour until the nuts are finely ground.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until very light. Beat in the hazelnut (or chestnut) paste, then add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and beat in the vanilla extract. In a small bowl, mix together the nut and flour mixture, the remaining cup of flour, the salt, and baking powder. Beat the dry ingredients into the batter.
4. Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back lightly when touched and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently remove from the pan. When cool, sift cocoa powder over the top or add a dollop of fresh whipped cream.