Hazelnut and gooseberry cake

It’s about time that gooseberries became the stars of the show, and not the extras.

I am so happy to have a recipe with gooseberries on my blog! I feel like we mostly only see gooseberries as simple decoration on cakes (understandably so as they are pretty little things!), but never really the star of the cake. I find this a shame as gooseberries are delicious in their own right and deserve just as much attention as any other fruit!

This hazelnut and gooseberry cake recipe incorporates lots of fresh cape gooseberries inside the praline cream filling. It’s a flavour combination that works very well! The nuttiness of the hazelnut is complemented well by the slight acidity from the fresh gooseberries.

This is a delightful cake that I would recommend eating for afternoon tea, in the same way that you would eat a carrot cake for example. I say this as I actually prepared the cake for an evening birthday celebration and while all the guests agreed that it was delicious, we were all of the consensus that it was more of a fancy afternoon teatime cake!

RECIPE (8 servings):

INGREDIENTS:

125g hazelnut powder
75g almond powder
125g icing sugar
100g sugar + 2tbsps
6 egg whites + 2 eggs
170g soft butter
25g flour
250ml milk
30g cornflour
80g praline paste
125g – 200g cape gooseberries

METHOD:

Cake layers:
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Place baking paper on a large baking tray and then place down two 20cm pastry circles.
Whisk the eggs whites until soft peaks form, gradually adding in the two tablespoons of sugar, to get a nice glossy meringue.
In a separate bowl, mix the icing sugar with the flour, the hazelnut powder and almond powder. Using a rubber spatula, gently incorporate this powder mix into the meringue, in soft circular motions.
Once fully incorporated, pour the mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a smooth tip, and pipe into the two circles an even spiral, starting from the centre of the circle.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
When baked, remove the circles and allow the cakes to cool on a rack.
 
Cream filling:
In a pan, bring the milk to a simmering boil.
In a bowl, whisk a whole egg, an egg yolk and 100g of sugar until the mixture lightens and thickens. Incorporate the cornflour and then the milk.
Pour this mixture back into the milk pan and bring to a boil, mixing constantly.
Once the cream has thickened, take off the heat, stir in 30g of butter and then the praline paste.
Allow the cream to cool and then whisk the cooled cream with the rest of the butter until you have a nice smooth cream.
 
Assembly:
 Place one cake layer on a serving plate and pipe the cream filling on top.
Press as many gooseberries (washed, whole and without their husks) as you like inside the cream. I pressed around 12 or so but avoid pressing them around the edges for aesthetic reasons!
Carefully place the second cake layer on top, dust icing sugar on top and then pipe the cream around the edges. Decoratively place the gooseberries (with their husks) around the cream.
 
Allow the cake to set in the fridge for an hour before eating.

Enjoy!

Did you try out this recipe? Any questions? Any feedback? Would love to hear from you!

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