Serious Eats: Recipes
Chocolate-Hazelnut Layer Cake
- The most efficient way to remove hazelnuts' unpleasantly bitter skins is to blanch them. Bring 4 cups water and 1/4 cup baking soda to boil in a large pot. Add the hazelnuts and boil 5 minutes. Drain the hazelnuts in a colander and rinse them under cold running water, rubbing them against each other until most of the skins have come off. Transfer the hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel (one you're not attached to as it will stain) and rub any remaining skins off. Place the skinned hazelnuts in a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
- The chocolate may also be melted in a double-boiler. Fill a medium saucepan about a quarter full of water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and allow water to simmer. Place a metal bowl over saucepan—make sure the water is not making contact with the bottom of the bowl. Place chocolate in bowl and stir constantly until smooth and melted.