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April 27, 2010

Photo by Gerik Parmele

The candles stood on the birthday cake with wisps of smoke drifting across the table. The cake was stunning in simplicity. Not many people have surprised me with a birthday cake and the sweet thoughtfulness of my best friend’s effort made the cake precious in every way. I cut the first slice and could hardly believe how pretty the delicate layers with whip cream frosting were. It cut like a dream. The taste was heavenly!

My friend Linda is a fabulous cook who lived in Austria several years before returning to the US.  She worked as a pastry chef for a restaurant and kaffeeoberstorte was one of the many desserts she made for their menu. She came home with a fistful of wonderful recipes to share, many of which are favorites in my recipe box too.

Kaffeeoberstorte is a flour-less hazelnut (filbert) cake, leavened with whipped egg whites. It’s not your typical American cake recipe but is surprisingly simple to make. Just don’t freak out when the cake rises up perfectly while baking but falls flat as it cools. It’s suppose to do that! I hope you enjoy this very light and wonderful cake maybe with a good cup of coffee. What a decadent way to celebrate a Spring day.


Photo by Gerik Parmele

9 egg whites
1 cup sugar
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 ounce package hazelnuts or filberts
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla
1 T instant coffee, crushed
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups whipping cream
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp. instant coffee, crushed
grated chocolate bar or finely chopped hazelnuts for

Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process them until they are finely ground. Beat the egg whites until half whipped and then begin adding the sugar a little at a time while whipping on high speed until the whites are stiffly beaten. Mix in the beaten egg yolks. Add the vanilla. Mix together the hazelnuts, lemon peel, vanilla, coffee and cocoa and fold into the egg mixture. Pour into 4-8″ parchment paper lined cake pans. I like to spray Pam on the paper liners but not the sides of the pan before pouring in the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool in pans. Suggestion: as they start to deflate, slip a knife around the rim to release the cake from the sides of the pans so they cool evenly). When cakes have cooled, carefully reach in and grab the cake liner under the cake and slide the cake onto your counter. The tops of the cakes will be sticky so don’t touch them unless you must. Gently remove the paper liners as you stack and frost the cake.

Whip the whipping cream with the sugar and instant coffee. The cream should be whipped as stiff as possible. Fill and frost the cooled cake. There is plenty of frosting to add borders to the top and bottom. Grate a chocolate bar or use more finely chopped hazelnuts to press into the sides of the cake. Chill the cake at least 4 hours before serving. It’s best served the next day.

Photo by Gerik Parmele

Printed Columbia Daily Tribune May 5, 2010

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 27, 2010 6:13 pm

    Hi Sue, Yes I do have vegan recipes and I’ll get there sometime soon. Watch for the Tofu “Meatballs” as they are vegan and so yummy! I don’t remember there even being a kitchen in the dorm . . . not that I looked for one! I worked in the cafe and had all my cooking needs met. If you had cottage cheese loaf . . . that was me mixing them up in the back! Fun memories.

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