Hazelnut and Bourbon Torte
by Valerie Gordon, Owner & Chef, Valerie Confections in Los Angeles, CA
Call it Fruitcake 2.0. Chef Gordon’s recipe is exactly what all fruitcakes should aspire to be. This gorgeous, caramel lacquered torte gets all its chutzpah from the Maker’s Mark® Bourbon in both the cake and the glaze. And it eats just as good in the summer as it would during the holidays.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Makes 1-1/4 cups
2 cups hazelnuts, skinned* and toasted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
Mix hazelnuts, sugar and salt in a food processor. Process until the hazelnuts break down first into a granular flour texture, then a paste, like a chunky peanut butter. Stream cold water in and continue to process until the paste forms a ball.
*Note: If you cannot find skinned hazelnuts, toast hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10–12 minutes. Transfer the hot hazelnuts to a large bowl lined with a towel. Gather the corners of the towel and rub the hazelnuts together vigorously inside the towel. Most of the skins should come off.
1/2 cup Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
1-1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted and diced 1/2"
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup hazelnut paste
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups roasted hazelnuts, skinned and halved
1 recipe bourbon caramel glaze
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix diced dates, raisins and Maker’s Mark® Bourbon. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Sift all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Using a paddle attachment on a standing mixer, beat brown sugar and butter until creamed. Add the nut paste and beat until incorporated.
- Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the vanilla paste.
- Add in the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.
- Drain the dried fruit from the Maker’s Mark®, reserving the extra Maker’s™. Add the marinated fruit to the batter and then fold in the hazelnuts.
- Spread batter into a greased 9" circle baking pan. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove cake from oven when a testing stick comes out clean.
- Let cake cool completely and remove from pan. Pour extra bourbon over the cake. Glaze the cake with the Bourbon Caramel Glaze.
Bourbon Caramel Glaze
1/3 cup Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1-1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon molasses
- In a small saucepan, melt the brown sugar and butter over a medium low heat. Stir vigorously to create a smooth texture.
- Stream the whipped cream into the brown sugar blend, using a whisk to incorporate the cream.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar. This may take a bit of work. Continue stirring until sugar has completely dissolved.
- Add the Maker's Mark® Bourbon, salt, vanilla paste and molasses.
- Remove from heat and let cool. When the glaze reads 100° F, pour over the cake. Refrigerate to set.