Bake Along #40 – Hazelnut White Chocolate Cake
I’m so thrilled and excited this week. And so I will have less to talk about the cake and more about why I’m this thrilled.
I was not a very positive person few years back. Though life seemed good, if someone asked me ‘how are you?’ I just had the habit of telling, ‘Going on’. I might have studied well for my exams, and if someone asked me how have you prepared, I would rather say, ‘Just haven’t studied anything’ and this list goes on.
Two years back I stumbled upon something called ‘Metaphysics’. I was in a very down trodden state during those days and I really needed a push in my life after which I started living a life for myself and that is one history. During that process I was also refining myself with lot of self help books. It was difficult to understand the subject in the beginning, but slowly when every single self help series of books focussed only on one single thing though they were told in several different ways by several different authors, I understood the whole idea of how to face life and how to live it.
I liked the idea of how to control our mind which in turn controls all the incidents around us. Even a single minute ahead or delay makes the change the way you want. I practised them constantly and continuously for several days and months together. Suddenly one day I started getting answers for every single thing I had in my life. Every thing started being so reasonable and just right. Whatever I needed was given to me right away. Whatever I needed to know was revealed to me at the right time. So it was all bliss after a certain point of time in life.
With such practises I decided to have as many desires as possible. I land up in boundless joy every time I have one of my desires manifesting from the list I have. Continuing that, the depth in which the practises were going on kept increasing. Coming to the point, I have several inspirations on my baking and cake decorating journey. Out of which I have one person who is my idol in the world of cake decorating, from whom I have learnt quite a lot. Though they were online lessons, they have helped me to a considerably great extent out of which I could teach several other students who needed training from a person, i.e., me! who don’t have any official training. That was merely possible because of my so called inspiration and cake idol, Handi Mulyana of Handis Cakes ( Sydney Australia).
I printed his poster and stuck it on my board in my living room, more than a year back. I call it ‘My Magic Board’. I also have few other pictures of my desires but his picture was solely for the gratitude of all that I have learnt from him. Suddenly few months back there was an announcement that an international cake decorator is visiting India for conducting classes and that is none other than Handi Mulyana from Australia. And can you believe this. This could be a natural thing to so many others. But to me, this was nothing but my desire being manifested from the list of pictures I have stuck on my board. The board just, is not magical. The constant power of my thoughts I have empowered my board with, are magical. I don’t remember back in my life if for anything at all, had I been so excited and thrilled.
From the day the announcement had happened and till today where the desire has really manifested and come into life it was a beautiful journey thinking about how the whole thing is going to unwrap for me. It was a fabulous experience and it means it was a complete Pro! I could not really believe my eyes that am actually seeing the Idol in front of me in live doing and presenting all that I have only been watching through my screens. In the two day session, it really took half a day for me to come back to ground and then pitch in and gear up with the flow of what’s happening.
I might be one of several hundred students he might have world wide. But to me, he ‘ll forever remain the Idol and I wish he keeps coming back to India and its a promise for lifetime, every single time he is going to come back, I will be there to learn from him.
This post is therefore dedicated with love, to my Inspiration and Idol of cake decorating, Handi Mulyana.
Coming to the story about this weeks cake. I have never worked with hazelnuts, but I so wished for it. I picked up a pack of hazelnuts few days back and want to put it to good use. Together with it I also bought white chocolate chips for the first time. Since I had the schedule of the master class this weekend, I decided to finish up the baking before the travel and I finished with baking while still not have packed a thing for my trip on the day of travel. With so many things to do, I took a chance without lining my pan and damn, the cake wouldn’t come out of the pan. So what do I show you all. I quickly whipped my mind should I convert the whole thing as Hazelnut white chocolate truffles but then figured out a way to settle this thing.
After the fabulous end of day 1 of the Master class, I came back to my friend’s home in Bangalore and made the cake again and managed to click the pictures , funny to some extent but my friend shared the excitement with me, with a touch of homely warmth and that is all her greenery in my pictures which you might not have seen in any of my previous posts
So here comes my Hazelnut White Chocolate Cake – A lovely flavour of hazelnuts and a sweet touch of white chocolate chips, specially designed for sweet tooths ( like me ofcourse! ). Very soft textured and highly forgiving and so you can add anything and everything you would want in your cake, as much as I added white chocolate chips into a simple hazelnut cake from one of very old recipe books of the Australian Circle. Oh yeah! Australia now sounds so fascinating isn’t it
Inspired from: The bread kitchen
- Unsalted butter – 70 gms
- Castor Sugar – 1 cup
- Eggs – 2
- Lemon zest – 1 tablespoon
- Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
- All-purpose flour – 1 1/4 cup
- Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Milk – 1/3 cup
- Hazelnuts – 2/3 cup
- White chocolate chips – 1/2 cup
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Butter, flour and line a 9 inch cake pan with butter paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside. Pulse the hazelnuts roughly. Process in intervals of few seconds to have it like a coarse powder, else it might become sticky.
2. Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and fluffy.
3. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes pale yellow, creamy and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one by one and beat well for about a minute after each addition. Now add lemon juice and zest and beat just until incorporated.
5. Add half of flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined. Then add the remaining portion of the flour and beat just till everything is incorporated. Do not over beat.
6. Add the powdered hazelnuts and beat lightly till incorporated. Then add the white chocolate chips and fold them in thoroughly. Do not over beat.
7. Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Tap it once to remove air bubbles if any. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for about 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Before the cake completely cools down, decorate the top with halved hazelnuts.
They are good to be eaten warm. You can dust some icing sugar on top, but they are sweet by themselves. If given a chance I would make some caramel sauce and drip on top of the cake and indulge!
You can add any nuts in place of hazelnuts, but hazelnut has a lot better flavour. White chocolate chips could be replaced with anything that you would want in your cake. If you prefer to add dry fruits like raisins, dates, figs, apricots and the like, chop and soak them in hot black tea for half an hour and add them to the batter finally. Rest of other additions of choice can be added directly into the final batter.
Here is a bite for you…
This has been baked for Fondbites, Bake Along, a group of enthusiastic bakers, bake one recipe every week along with me. To join the group, send a join request in the facebook group and I will add you to the group.
Recipes of previous Bake Along can be viewed here
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finished picture below using the linky tool.