Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
MAKES ONE 9-INCH CAKE
I make this dense chocolate cake dotted with chopped hazelnuts frequently because it is a good keeper…but it rarely lasts long. Cut it in small wedges and serve it with espresso. For best results, lightly spoon the flour into your measuring cup; do not pack it in.
1 1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon butter
1 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Cool the nuts, then coarsely chop them and set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream 1 cup butter with the sugar until lemon colored. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating each in completely. Add the vanilla and continue to beat a few seconds more.
Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder together. Using an electric mixer, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Fold in the nuts and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until very stiff. With a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites a little at a time into the egg mixture until no streaks of white remain.
With the remaining tablespoon of butter, grease a deep 9 1/2-inch springform pan, then dust the pan with flour, shaking out the excess. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Carefully release the sides of the pan, remove the bottom, and let cake cool on a rack.
When ready to serve, dust the cake with confectioner's sugar.