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Hazelnut Cake with Plum-Vanilla Preserves & Sour Cream Chantilly

Hazelnut cake:

1 cup hazelnuts

1/2 cup corn flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

8 oz unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

Plum & Vanilla Bean Preserves

Sour cream chantilly:

1/2 cup whole milk sour cream

1 cup heavy cream

2-4 tablespoons vanilla sugar, or to taste

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the hazelnut cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Butter two 6″ cake pans and line them with parchment paper.

1. Toast the hazelnuts for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  

2. Rub them together in a dry tea towel to remove skins.

3. In a food processor, blend hazelnuts together with corn flour until finely ground.

4. Sift together remaining dry ingredients; fold in nut mixture.

5. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and honey until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the yolks and vanilla extract.  

6. In a clean bowl, whip egg whites with whisk until soft peaks form.

7. Fold one-third of dry ingredients into butter mix lightly with a rubber spatula. Add half of egg whites and gently incorporate. Add another third of dry ingredients, folding until almost mixed. Fold in remaining egg whites, careful not to deflate. Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients.  

8. Pour batter evenly into two prepared pans. Level out with a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for about 21-25 minutes, until lightly golden and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely.

For the chantilly cream:

Place sour cream, cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip until medium peaks form.

To assemble:

1. Slice each cooled cake in half horizontally. Spread about 1/2 cup of plum preserves onto bottom cake round and top with another layer of cake. Spread some chantilly onto the next layer.  

2. Top with next cake round; spread again with about 1/2 cup of plum preserves. Finish with top cake round.  

3. Crumb coat entire cake with a thin layer of chantilly cream.  Allow to chill at least 20 minutes.

4. After well chilled, finish frosting the cake with remaining chantilly. Decorate with fresh flowers, plums, or toasted chopped hazelnuts.  

Best served just slightly cold.

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