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Nancy’s Hazelnut Sponge


Preparing my Cookbook Guru post earlier in December I came across this recipe in my old battered blue folder. Nancy, a Calabrian co-worker in the kitchen shared her light and moist Hazelnut Sponge recipe with me in the 1980s. I made it a couple of times then promptly forgot about it.

Planning a gluten free Christmas feast is an enormous shift in thinking for me. Because berry season is in full swing at Christmas, I have often served a traditional English berry filled Summer Pudding in the past, but making it in the traditional style using gluten free bread as a casing is out of the question, so I used this recipe as an alternative, pliable enough to contain the berries and (fingers crossed) not collapse when unmoulded, but more about summer pudding later.

It’s been a good ten years since I last made this hazelnut sponge. I’d forgotten just how good it is. It’s a wonderful light alternative sponge for wine trifle, delicious dressed up with chocolate mousse, cream or ganache, or simply dusted with icing sugar, a recipe useful for many purposes, including as a casing for summer pudding!

Check out the monthly Cookbook Guru hosted by Sharing the Food We Love and join in the fun.

Nancy’s Hazelnut Sponge
200g hazelnut meal
200g icing sugar
6 eggs separated
4 tablespoons rum
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate
1 tablespoon cornflour

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease a 20cm cake tin and line it with baking paper.
Mix together the hazelnut meal, sifted icing sugar, egg yolks and rum.
Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, then fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the nut mixture, combining thoroughly.
Very lightly fold the remaining egg white into the nut mixture.
Pour into the prepared cake tin, then lightly tap the tin on the bench to remove any large air bubbles.
Bake 180C for 40 minutes, or until done when tested with a skewer.



About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

15 comments on “Nancy’s Hazelnut Sponge

  1. Pingback: The Cookbook Guru’s take on Christmas | Sharing The Food We Love

  2. alwaysamum
    December 31, 2013

    Reblogged this on Favourite Gluten Free Recipes.


  3. ChgoJohn
    December 30, 2013

    Isn’t it great to come upon a wonderful recipe that you’ve long forgotten? This cake does sound good and I bet you won’t be forgetting it again anytime soon. 🙂


    • ladyredspecs
      December 30, 2013

      John, you are so right, this cake will be a regular for quite a while now. 😉


  4. marymtf
    December 30, 2013

    My granddaughter and her sous chef will be trying out this delicious sounding recipe these holidays, Sandra. Thanks. xx


    • ladyredspecs
      December 30, 2013

      I’d forgotten how good this cake is, an absolute beauty! Happy New Year Mary


      • marymtf
        December 31, 2013

        Happy new year to you too, Sandra. A fresh new year to look forward to. Hope it turns out well for all of us.


  5. Charisma
    December 29, 2013

    Mmm this looks delicious!


  6. This cake looks so amazing! 🙂


  7. laurasmess
    December 27, 2013

    This both looks and sounds divine! I love nut meal cakes, they have a gorgeous texture and flavour all of their own. I’ve made a similar cake to this with additional orange rind and shaved dark chocolate but I love the simplicity of this one. I can imagine a great big slice with jam and cream! Hope that you had a beautiful festive season, Lady Redspecs! x


    • ladyredspecs
      December 28, 2013

      I hope Christmas was good for you Laura we has a great day with friends and family. Shaved dark chocolate would be a lovely addition to this cake.


  8. Deena Kakaya
    December 27, 2013

    Wow, that really does look moist and light x


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This entry was posted on December 27, 2013 by in Baking, Cakes, Desserts, FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Gluten free baking and tagged , , , , .
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