The shortest day is thankfully behind us but we must wait awhile before the evenings start to lenghten. The weather is windy and wet. Here in Arigna we are still in Christmas holiday mood. I go into semi-hibernation at this time of year, I just love it. Cold wet and windy outside and we are indoors, the stove is pumping out the heat, friends calling, bit of cooking, drinking and eating.
Yesterday I made an Italian Hazelnut Cake, forgive me for my arrogant self-praise but it was gorgeous! Don’t have a pic of the finished cake as our friends LJ and Elaine turned up (they were invited), and we had the cake for an after lunch dessert. Then we had some more with the Bailey’s Irish Cream in the afternoon…and so it disappeared…without being photographed! I will give you the recipe so you can make one and judge for yourself if you like it.
Italian Hazlenut Cake. (Gluten Free)
200g ground hazelnuts. I’m sure you could substite ground almonds if you couldn’t get the hazelnuts.
5 eggs. 175g caster sugar. 100g butter, melted. 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Heat oven to 180c/fan, 160c/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 20 cm round deep cake tin. Separate eggs into 2 large bowls. Tip sugar onto the yolks and whisk with an electric hand whisk for about 3 minutes or until the mixture leaves a trail on the surface when the whisk blades are lifted. Gradually whisk in the butter, then fold in the hazelnuts and vanilla. Whisk egg whites until stiff, then fold into cake mixture in 4 equal batches, using the whisk blades. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 mins. It will be done when the cake feels firm and bounces back when pressed in the centre. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, peel off paper and cool.
I also promised Elaine, pictured above with the cheeky Freddie licking the cake crumbs from her plate, that I would put my recipe for making Bailey’s Irish Cream on here. So here it is:
1 14oz can condensed milk. 1 14oz can evaporated milk. 1 teaspoon glycerine, (to stop separation). 1 and a half teaspoons coffee essence (Irel or Camp). Cup or mug of whiskey, depending on how strong you want it!
Pour all into a large bottle and give a good shake! Enjoy and don’t drink it all at once!!
Best wishes to all of you for the New Year. May it be filled with contentment, peace and joy.
Bridget and Andy XX.