Friday, September 11, 2009

Hazelnut Braid

Hazelnut Braid (2/2)
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

I love the flavor of hazelnut in cakes. And marchpane is intensifying the flavor of hazelnuts even more. Here is a cake which not only has a nice structure but has an intense hazelnut flavor. Not too sweet though.

Hazelnut Braid
(for one braid)

...for the filling:
100 g hazelnuts (grounded)
100 g marchpane*
1 egg
50 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
1 tablespoon rum (or milk, if you don't want to bake with rum)

...for the dough:
300 g all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
160 g Curd
6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons oil
90 g sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla flavor
1 dash salt

...for the glaze:
4 tablespoons peach or apricot jam
2 tablespoons water

* Marchpane: in German "Marzipan" (Spain: mazapán, France: massepain, Italy: marzapane). Sometimes you find the name almond paste. It is a raw mixture for baking and not the end product.

Prepare the filling first. Roast the grounded hazelnuts over medium high heat slightly. Set aside. Mix the rest of the ingredients for the filling until homogenous. I'm using a fork for this step, because so you can easily mash the marchpane with the egg and other ingredients. Add the hazelunuts and mix. Set aside.

Put the curd into a sieve which you have lined out with some paper towels. This step will make the curd more dry. After 15 to 30 minutes the curd is in general dry enough for the dough.

Prepare the dough. Mix flour and baking powder and sieve into a bowl. Add the other ingredients for the dough. Mix for one minute on high speed with your mixer and dough hooks. Do not mix too long, because dough would get sticky.

Knead a few times with hands to form the dough. Then roll it out to a size of about 40 by 30 cm. Spread the filling evenly on the dough leaving about 1 cm free from each side. Form a roll fom the longest side. Half the roll lengthwise and fold it apart. With the sliced side pointing upward form a braid. Press the ends slightly so that they will not fall apart while baking.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170 C on a greased baking tray for 40 to 45 minutes. After 30 minutes you should watch the cake. If the cake is getting too brown covered it with some baking paper.

While baking prepare the glaze. Mix jam and water in a small pot and let it cook on medium high heat for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken it.

Take out the cake of the oven and while hot glaze it. Let it cool completely on a cooling rack.

Hazelnut Braid (1/2)
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

About the photos
To show the structure better I sliced the cake a placed two slices beside the cake but leave most of the cake to show the braid structure. As reference for the filling I have used hazelnuts and hazelnuts leaves which are in season now. They shouldn't be too perfect to avoid a too staged impression. Composition wise the photos are based on a brown green contrast for an earthern impression. The use of the silver plate should emphasize the rustic look. In the first photo I have used a T/S lens which gave me the chance to use a top down angle but still have the focal plain like in a lower angled version.


Moira - Tertúlia de Sabores said...

Looks perfect and delicious!
I love halzenuts but never ate halzenuts so good as in Germany.
The contrast between browns and green is lovely.

itookmyprozac said...

This looks too good Thorsten both the photo and the recipe. You know I come here for my daily dose of food porn and I am never disappointed.

Thorsten said...

Thank you both.

Moira, maybe it is because in Germany hazelnuts are often combined with marchpane, which adds a slight almonds flavor. Here the flavor is enhanced by rosating the grounded nuts.

itookmyprozac, you are invited to come here any time for your daily dose. Or visit me on my flickr account for more food photos, if you would like to increase your daily dose (*LOL*). Thanks for the compliment.

Nisa-mom said...

What a beautiful bread. You are so good baker. oh,BTW what is marchpane ? and what's kind of curd we can use ?

Thorsten said...

Fitri, I have adde an explantion for marchpane in my posting. Hope this makes it clearer.

Quark (curd) is widely used in Germany. It is a kind of cream cheese, although the comparison lacks. You will find an explantion here:

Unknown said...

I was missing this one. Hmm... it really looks delicious and I pretty like the "country feeling" you gave to the styling here.

I'm happy to see also that you're fans are increasing, it's well deserved!

Edda said...

Mmm I can imagine the taste, fabulous...And the composition is perfect, really appropriate!

Lo said...

Been poking around on your blog -- and I couldn't help but stop to stare at this gorgeous braid. Beautiful bread... and such great flavors going on here. Love it.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Your photography is gorgeous and the hazelnut flavor really appeals to me. Wonderful site!

Check your credit said...

Looks good. Wonder if this is good for birthdays?