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Before starting this Almond and Hazelnut Loaf Cake recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Soften the almond paste in the microwave for 30 seconds. Cut into small chunks and place in a high, narrow recipient (jug)...
... and add the whole eggs.
Mix with a hand blender.
Add the castor sugar...
... and mix with the hand blender for 3 minutes.
Transfer the preparation into a mixing bowl.
Add the sifted flour...
... and the baking powder.
Combine gently, using a rubber spatula.
Add the pralin feuilletine paste. You can replace it with 70 grams almond and hazelnut praline paste.
Combine gently until incorporated.
Add the grape seed oil. Oil is what will give the cake a super soft consistency.
Combine gently with the spatula until homogeneous.
Grease an Exopan® loaf cake mould (oil spray, oil or butter)...
... and fill with the preparation, leaving a gap of 1cm on top.
Bake in a fan-assisted oven preheated at 160°C (gas 3) for 55 minutes.
The cake is cooked when puffed and golden.
Insert the blade of a knife to check whether the cake is cooked. The blade should be dry when you take it out, otherwise cook for another 10 minutes.
When the cake is cooked...
... insert the blade of a knife.
The blade should be dry when you take it out.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature before releasing from the mould. The cake is soft and delicate so it is best to wait until it cools down before decorating it.
For the caramelized almonds: (prepare ahead): Organise all the necessary ingredients.
You need a large saucepan for this operation.
Place the water and the sugar in the saucepan.
Bring to a boil. When the sugar is completely melted...
... add the almonds...
... and stir constantly with a spatula...
... until all the water has evaporated...
... and a caramel...
... starts forming. Make sure you are stirring at all times.
When all almonds are coated and the caramel is a light brown, transfer on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Don't wait until the caramel turns dark, which will give a bitter taste to the almonds.
... and separate them before the caramel is too hard. Leave to cool, then chop into small chunks.
For the finish: Melt the clear apricot glaze with a little water in the microwave, then apply with a brush over the surface of the cake.
Coat the surface of the cake with the chopped almonds.
The almond crust should easily stick to the glaze.
Pour some hot glaze over the almonds to bind them, making sure not to add too much.
Using a serrated knife, cut the cake...
... into regular slices. Enjoy!