Hazelnut Cake / Torta di Nocciole

Hazelnuts are one of the Piedmont’s popular ingredients and used in everything from fillings for meats and vegetables to desserts and puddings.


  • 3 large eggs,separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter,softened
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 1/4 cups ounces unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon bakingpowder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ground hazelnuts
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling on cake


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Butter and breadcrumb a 9 inch cake pan and refrigerate it until baking time
  3. In a bowl beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the butter and olive oil.
  4. Sift the flour,baking powder, and salt together, then slowly beat into the egg mixture. On lowspeed, mix in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the nuts. Set bowl aside.
  6. In a clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the whites until soft peaks form; do not overbeat or the whites will be too hard to fold into the egg mixture. The whites should hold soft peaks and be shiny looking.
  7. Fold the white in three additions to the egg yolk mixture taking care not to deflate the batter.
  8. Pour the batter intothe prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until skewer inserted in thecenter of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Cut into wedges to serve with vanilla gelato or just plain
  10. Variation on decoration: Melt 2 ounces semisweet chocolate in a bowl over simmering water.Dip whole shelled hazelnuts in the chocolate and place in a decorative design on top of the cake.
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