Friday, February 22, 2008

Hazelnut Cakes with Frosted Cherries

Ingredients: (serves 6)
Melted butter, to grease
1 cup icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 egg whites
6 oz unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1/2 cup caster sugar
24 cherries, stems attached
3/4 cup mascarpone

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12 inch cake pan with melted butter. Line base with non-stick baking paper.
Sift icing sugar and flour into a bowl. Add hazelnuts and cinnamon, and mix until well combined. Use a balloon whisk to whisk 5 egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Use a large metal spoon to fold egg whites into hazelnut mixture. Add melted butter and fold in until just combined. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Use a fork to whisk remaining egg white in a bowl until frothy. Place caster sugar in a separate small bowl. Hold a cherry by the stem and brush with a little egg white to evenly coat. Dip into the sugar and turn to coat. Place, upright, on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining cherries. Set aside for 15 minutes or until dry.
To serve, use a round 1 1/4 inch cutter to cut 24 discs from hazelnut cake. Top each with a small dollop of mascarpone and then with a frosted cherry.

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