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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.

1

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.

2

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.

3

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

4

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.

5

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.