Hazelnut and Roasted Almond Mousse Cake
This French confection is made with a genoise cut into layers, filled with a mousse of hazelnut paste, and topped with toasted glazed almonds. A dusting of cocoa and confectioner’s sugar finishes the cake.
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon, melted
- Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Eggs - 4 large
- Cake flour - 3/4 cup
- Hazelnut Mousse
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks), at room temperature
- Hazelnut paste - 1/2 cup (4 oz)
- Eggs - 4, separated, at room temperature
- Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1/3 cup
- Glazed Almonds (recipe follows)
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 2 tablespoons
- Confectioner's Sugar - 2 tablespoons
To make the genoise: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush a 10-by-3-inch round cake pan with the melted butter and lightly dust it with flour. Combine the sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk the mixture until it is lukewarm. Transfer the bowl to the mixer stand and beat with a wire whip attachment until the mixture is cool, light, and fluffy. This will take about 15 minutes. Gradually sift the flour over the mixture and fold in gently. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the mousse: In a medium bowl, combine the butter and hazelnut paste and mix together until smooth. Mix in the egg yolks and set the mixture aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water, bring to a boil, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer, or a small amount of the mixture dropped into a glass of cool water forms a soft ball.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they form soft peaks. Pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream into the beating egg whites and beat to firm peaks. This is Italian meringue. Spread the meringue onto a sided baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once cooled, use a whisk or spatula to fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture.
To assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, trim off the outer edges of the cake, then slice the cake into four thin layers. Place a 10-inch ring mold on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Place one layer of the genoise in the mold and spread it with one-fifth of the mousse. Continue to layer, ending with mousse on the top. Smooth the top and refrigerate for several hours. Cover and refrigerate the remaining mousse.
To serve: Transfer the cake to a cake board or serving plate. Wrap the mold with a warm towel to loosen, then run a sharp knife around the edge and remove the ring. Spread the reserved mousse around the sides to cover the cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with glazed almonds. Press the cocoa and confectioner’s sugar through a fine-meshed sieve. Mix to combine and sift the mixture over the entire top of the cake. Cut into wedges, dipping the knife in hot water and wiping between cuts. Place on individual plates and sprinkle glazed almonds on the plates.
Makes 1 cup
Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in the water and add the almonds, stirring to coat the almonds completely. With a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds to a sided baking sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper, separating them. Place the almonds in the oven and bake until glazed and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool.