Lucques' hazelnut brown butter cake

Time1 hour 35 minutes
YieldsServes 10
Lucques' hazelnut brown butter cake
(Los Angeles Times)
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Dear SOS: I was at Lucques in West Hollywood recently, and they had an amazing hazelnut cake that my friends and I were crazy about. Is there any chance I could get the recipe?

Katherine Herring

El Segundo

Dear Katherine: The cake is, indeed, amazing. It’s a bit crunchy, and rich with toasted hazelnuts and brown butter but remarkably light and meringue-like. Roxana Jullapat, Lucques’ pastry chef, sprinkles fleur de sel on top and adds a scoop of caramel ice cream to each serving.


Place an 8-inch skillet on low heat and add the butter. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out; add the seeds and bean to the butter. When the butter turns a golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, remove from the heat. Remove the seeds and pod and scrape the butter into a bowl to cool.


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, and line it with parchment paper. Grind the hazelnuts with the powdered sugar in a food processor.


Place the ground nuts in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and stir until well combined.


Beat the egg whites and granulated sugar to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. Fold the whites into the nut mixture. Fold in the room-temperature brown butter.


Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge and unmold onto a serving platter. Sprinkle each serving of cake with a little fleur de sel. Accompany with a scoop of caramel ice cream.