As some of you may already know, our wonderful former employee Theresa studied at the Slow Food University in Piedmont and brought some of the most exciting culinary experiences and friendships with her. She has a special relationship with Josè Noè, the Piedmontese hazelnut farmer and roaster, whose wonderful hazelnuts, gently roasted à la minute for us, have been part of our program since this year. These little natural chocolates don't just taste great with cheese! Of course, you can also bake with it, as Theresa proves in the following recipe for the original Piedmontese Torta di Nocciole, which she baked for my beloved big sister Anaïs’ birthday!
"I got to know the recipe for the Torta di Nocciole during my student days in Piedmont. It is one of the most well-known dolci in the region - no wonder, since in addition to wine, hazelnut trees grow in the hills south of Turin. The typical regional variety is Tonda Gentile of such goodness that this cake actually only needs 2 more ingredients.
As a small addition, I sometimes use a pinch of very finely ground coffee beans, which emphasize the roasted taste of the hazelnuts. Ground cocoa beans or - for those who like it fresher - some lemon zest (gently dosed) also give a nice aroma.
Anaïs' birthday is a wonderful opportunity to finally bake the cake again - of course in the original version without flour, which has also given it the nickname Senzafarina in Piedmont ."
- 400g ground Piedmont hazelnuts (of course only from Josè ;)
- 8 eggs
- 200g sugar (I opted for light Muscovado sugar because it not only has an unobtrusive sweetness but also some caramel notes) (by the way, we also have it in our shop)
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Then carefully beat the egg yolk until it becomes creamy and the color lightens, then gradually add the sugar and continue to stir until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Now stir in the ground hazelnuts. Finally, fold in the beaten egg whites, don't stir anymore, but make sure that an airy foam mass is formed (similar to a classic biscuit). Pour the cake batter into a 28 cm diameter baking pan lined with baking paper and bake in the preheated oven on the middle shelf at 180°C for approx. 30-40 minutes. If necessary, place baking paper on top of the cake to prevent the surface from browning too much.
Let the Torta di Nocciol e cool down in the mold and dust with icing sugar before serving.