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Chocolate and Hazelnut Fudge Cake
(4-9-18)

Yield: Serves 8-12

Ingredients
  • 200g hazelnuts
  • 250g unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for the tin
  • 300g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp chocolate and hazelnut spread
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • double cream, to serve
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.
  2. Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray, pop into the oven and roast for 5-10 minutes, giving the tray a good shake halfway through, until they are golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. If you prefer a crunchier cake, don't blitz to a powder.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm springform tin and line with baking paper.
  4. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar in a pan and melt over a gentle heat; do not let the chocolate burn. Simmer gently for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat and stir in the chocolate spread and sea salt. Leave to cool.
  5. Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy, forming soft peaks. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
  6. Add a couple of tablespoons of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and combine to loosen the batter, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, followed by the hazelnuts.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. It should be dry to the touch but still slightly wobbly underneath. Leave to cool in the tin before carefully releasing and cutting into slices (the cake will most likely sink a little in the middle - this is normal). Serve with softly whipped double cream.


Chocolate-Hazelnut Crepes with Bourbon Whipped Cream
(2-16-18)

Ingredients

Bourbon whipped cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon, or more

Rose petals and blood orange
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Petals of one rose blossom, picked
  • ¼ teaspoon rose blossom water (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 6 leaves mint, torn

Crepes
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra butter for cooking the crepes
  • 1 jar chocolate-hazelnut spread, preferably Nutella
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed

Directions

For the bourbon whipped cream:
  1. In a chilled mixing bowl whisk together the heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  2. Gently whisk in the bourbon and continue whisking until the peaks firm up a bit more.
  3. Reserve in the cooler until ready to serve.

For the rose petals and blood orange:
  1. In a small pot, bring the sugar and water to a boil then remove it from the heat and let it cool until just warm.
  2. Stir the rose petals, rose blossom water and pinch of sea salt into the warm simple syrup.
  3. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the peel off of the blood oranges and then slice them crosswise into ½-inch thick coins. Pick out any seeds if necessary.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, coat the blood orange slices with the rose petal syrup, and fold in some of the candied rose petals and the torn mint, let it all marinate together until ready to serve.

For the crepes:
  1. In a bowl, or blender, whip together all of the crepe batter ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Set a 10-inch nonstick pan over a medium-high heat. Add a pat of butter to the pan and swirl it around until it coats the interior.
  3. Pour about 4 ounces of crepe batter into the pan and swirl it around quickly to coat as much of the pan as possible before it begins to cook. Allow the crepe to cook for about 1 minute, then use a rubber spatula to free it from the pan.
  4. If feeling bold, try to flip the crepe by tossing it into the air and catching it on the opposite side. If not so bold, go directly to placing a heaping spoon of Nutella into the center of the crepe followed by a sprinkle of toasted hazelnut pieces.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and allow the Nutella to warm for another minute, gently fold the crepe in half and press down with the spatula to spread out the Nutella inside the thin crepe.
  6. Slide the warmed crepe onto a plate and top it with the rose petals, blood oranges and bourbon whipped cream.


Roasted Hazelnut Toffee
(2-6-18)

Yield: Makes 4-1/4 pounds of toffee (100 pieces measuring 1 x 2 inches)

Ingredients
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-½ cups raw hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • (either chips, or squares that have been broken into chunks)
  • 2 cups chopped dark-roasted and skinned hazelnuts
Directions
Grease one large (12 x 17- inch) rimmed baking sheet or two smaller (10 x 15-inch or less) ones with butter.

Melt the pound of butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat on a wide-diameter burner. While the butter is melting, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup. Add this mixture to the melted butter, along with the water. When the sugars have dissolved, increase the burner setting to medium high, stirring with a flat-edged wooden spoon. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and cook the mixture, stirring constantly to keep it from scorching. When the temperature reaches 240 degrees F, add the nuts and continue stirring. At 260 degrees, reduce the burner setting to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring occasionally, until the toffee reaches 300 degrees ("hard crack").

Remove the pot from the burner and stir in the vanilla and salt, stirring quickly because the toffee will become quite thick at this point. Scrape it out onto the prepared baking sheet(s) or marble slab, spreading it out to a thickness of about ¼ to ½ inch. A silicon spatula is the best tool for spreading the sticky toffee.

Allow the toffee about 5 minutes to set up, then distribute the chocolate pieces evenly over the surface. The heat from the toffee will melt them. While it's still soft, gently even out the layer of chocolate and then sprinkle it with the roasted and chopped hazelnuts.

At this point, you can refrigerate the toffee until it is cold and hard. Or you can just let it cool to room temperature over several hours or overnight. Once the toffee is very firm, it can be broken into smaller, irregular-sized pieces.

NOTE: If you use unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt in the recipe from ¼ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.

Apple Pie with Hazelnut Crust
(11-17-17)

Yield: Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Crust
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons frozen lard or solid vegetable shortening, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Filling
  • 3½ pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (scant) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Milk
  • Vanilla ice cream
Directions

For crust:
Blend flour and hazelnuts in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add brown sugar and salt; blend 20 seconds. Add butter and lard; using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to bowl. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; stir until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 equal pieces. Form each into ball; flatten each into disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

For filling:
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Toss apples, ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in large bowl. Roll out 1 dough disk on generously floured surface to 12-inch round, rotating crust often to prevent sticking. Generously flour 11 or 12 inch tart pan bottom. Slide tart pan bottom under dough round. Carefully slide dough round into 9-inch pie dish. Press crust onto bottom and up sides of dish; pinch and press to seal any cracks. Spoon filling into crust; drizzle with melted butter.

Roll out second dough disk on generously floured surface to 13-inch round. Slide same floured tart pan bottom under dough round. Carefully allow dough round to slide off tart pan bottom onto pie filling; pinch to seal any cracks in crust. Press top crust and bottom crust together at edge. Fold edge under; crimp decoratively. Cut X in center of top crust. Brush top crust lightly with milk. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Transfer pie to rimmed baking sheet. Bake pie 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie 25 minutes. Cover crust edges with foil collar to prevent overbrowning; continue baking until crust is golden, apples are tender, and juices are bubbling thickly in center, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool. Serve with ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
(10-23-17)

Ingredients

Crumble Top
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

Filling
  • 1½ lb rhubarb stems, cut crosswise into ¼ inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant tapioca
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

For Crumble Top
Put butter, brown sugar and orange zest together in a bowl and cream. Sift in flour and salt. Work mixture through fingers until it forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Set aside.

For filling:
  1. Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, orange zest, orange juice and salt in a bowl.
  2. Let set for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally).
  3. Divide rhubarb mixture among 6 small ceramic baking dishes (1 cup capacity).
  4. Transfer baking dishes to a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with topping and hazelnuts.
  6. Bake until topping turns golden brown and juices are bubbling (30-35 min). Cool for 30 minutes and serve.


Sweet Potato, Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake
(10-23-17)

Yield: Serves 6-8
Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Ingredients
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled, resulting in 1 cup mashed
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup half and half
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Add peeled sweet potato and boil until potato is soft. Drain and let cool slightly, then mash. Measure out 1 cup.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together mashed sweet potatoes and canola oil. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture, mixing until well combined. Finally, add chopped hazelnuts.
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Lynden, WA
(360) 988-9240


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