Monday 3 October 2016

Baked in Style with Neff - Hazelnut Torte

Last weekend's excitement was attending a Baked In Style event - a baking and photography session hosted by Neff and Currys PC World. The venue was L'atelier des Chefs, which is a cookery school in London, near the beautiful St.Paul's cathedral. A fabulous Chef (Fabrizio - let's just call him Fab Fab) talked us through how to make our very own hazelnut torte, and in teams we then went about replicating his creation.

Baked In Style Hazelnut Torte

First we were shown the amazing Neff appliances they use in the kitchen there, by two enthusiastic Neff representatives, and I have to say I was very impressed - the slide and hide door on the oven had to be my favourite feature. Also brilliant was the fact that their pyrolytic ovens have a self clean setting which reduces everything to ash for quick and easy cleaning, and an extra special function where water can be added which then adds internal steam to the cooking.

Neff representative

Neff Slide and Hide door

The induction hobs were also very swanky, operated by a large magnetic button which can be removed to leave a sleek surface.

Neff Induction Hob

The baking bit was fairly straightforward; a nice simple recipe which I'll leave for you at the bottom of the post. It is DEFINITELY worth reproducing - I'm not actually a hazelnut or coffee fan myself normally but the flavours were all quite subtle and they just worked incredibly well together. It probably took us all longer to make than it should have done as there appeared to be a need for everyone to stop and take roughly a hundred photos at each stage of the process.... bloggers, tsk.

Bloggers and baking session

The chance to escape into the big city on a weekend was bliss - just a shame it chucked it down on my way in so no chance of stopping to enjoy photographing the sights of London!

Food photography session
As you can see, we made up for it inside though, with the help of a food photography expert, Carole Poirot, who gave us all her best tips. Fabric to soften the scene? Check. Movement into photo? Check. Correct proportions? Big at the back, small items at the front? Use a colour wheel. Drizzle fruit with lemon to avoid browning. We listened and learnt - what do you think of our final effort?!

Hazelnut Torte minimalist style
We call this 'Minimalist Style Hazelnut Torte'

Haha, only joking, our real finished version is below:

Hazelnut Torte - Baked In Style!
Hazelnut Torte - Baked In Style!

Thanks so much to everyone involved for a fab day out! L'atelier des chefs offers classes around a huge range of themes, from country-led French, English or Italian for example, to sushi, chocolate and Christmas baking. Hoping I'll get chance to return someday soon!

Recipe for Hazelnut Torte:


55g toasted hazelnuts (chopped)

110g butter
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
110g self-raising flour
15ml milk
5ml instant coffee


2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced
10ml (2 tbsps) apricot jam
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat the over to 170C. Grease and line a deep 20cm sandwich tin
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
3. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the creamed mixture. Add the sieved self-raising flour.
4. Heat the milk and add the instant coffee until dissolved. Stir this into the cake mixture and add the hazelnuts.
5. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them carefully into the cake mixture. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
6. Bake at 170C for 25-30 minutes until firm but springy to the touch. Allow to cool and cut in half.
7. Prepare the filling. Place the apples in a saucepan with the apricot jam and lemon zest and juice. Cover and cook gently until soft and leave to cool.
8. Fill the cake with the apple mixture and then cover the top with melted chocolate or dust with icing sugar.