Australian Gourmet Hazelnuts have stalls at the Eveleigh Markets and the Good Living Growers’ Markets. These nuts are from Mudgee, and that’s part of the attraction for me. Mudgee is a NSW town, only 4 hours from Sydney, so you could probably claim to be a locavore eating these. I have a personal connection to the Mudgee region too. My grandparents have a fabulous weekender there with plenty of natural bushland. The Male of the Species is from there too, so Alloronan has twice the connection to the area. With a love of Mudgee and a love of hazelnuts how could I resist buying these nuts?
I trotted home with my bag of ‘dry roasted hazelnut crumb’. For the uninitiated this is hazelnut meal which has been lightly toasted. I looked at the recipes I’d been given with my nuts and found that lots were savoury, which didn’t appeal particularly to my sweet tooth. There was an apple cake that sounded good, but it needed whole nuts as well as meal. Not quite sure what I’d do with my hazelnut meal I asked the Vegaquarian for ideas. I particularly wanted to know if toasted nut meal was interchangeable with the untoasted version in baking. She told me that if you’ve ever ground your own nuts then you would know that you toast them lightly first because otherwise you get peanut butter. She added that of course you can bake with them. After giving me this handy hint she also directed me to a recipe. I love recommendations, because you know the recipe will taste good. With the recipe in hand my hazelnut meal had a purpose at last.
The recipe she gave me was for Raspberry Hazelnut Muffins. I’ve adapted it somewhat so that it has become Blueberry Hazelnut Patty Cakes. They’re yummy and quite sweet. The recipe recommends that you fill them with rose marscapone. I found they tasted fine without it, but I decided to use it as an icing. The topping certainly dresses them up, because these little cakes tend to be quite flat on top, which isn’t as pretty as a well risen dome.
I made these for a work morning tea and I was pleased to see they all disappeared. I was not so pleased to come home and find that the ones I’d reserved had almost disappeared too. I suppose it’s hard to resist a hazelnut cake.
Hazelnut Blueberry Patty Cakes
125 g butter
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup hazelnut meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup natural yoghurt (originally sour cream)
1 cup blueberries (this is one 415 g tin drained, or you can use frozen or fresh berries)
Rose Mascarpone Topping
250 g mascarpone
1/4 cup gluten free icing sugar mixture
1 tsp rosewater
Preheat oven to 175 Celcius.
Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Add flour, hazelnut meal and baking powder. Combine.
Add yoghurt and stir.
Finally fold in berries.
Spoon the mixture into patty pans. I needed about 3 dozen. Bake for 15-20 mins.
Once the cakes have cooled, combine the ingredients for the mascapone topping. When you’re ready to serve them, spread the marscapone mix over the patty cakes.