Are you lucky to have fresh hazelnuts from Piemonte; of course use them! Their hazelnuts are probably the best in the world... but who have actually this in their kitchen? We normal mortal people can of course use hazelnuts from the rest of the world.
8 big muffin tins:
200 g shelled hazelnuts
150 g flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
125 g butter
200 g sugar
125 ml milk
a little salt
a little oil
icing sugar for decoration
Heat the oven to 200 gr C (392 gr F).
Toast the hazelnuts* and when they are cold: pulverise them in a food processor or blender until very fine. Combine with the flour, a little salt and baking powder.
Mix the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Then add the eggs, one by one, until well combined. Blend in the dry ingredients and mix well, before also adding the milk.
Pour into big paper muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes. I prefer them to be raw in the middle, like a fondant. Bake them for 5 more minutes if you don´t want them "raw". Remove gently from the tins and serve them while still hot, with vanilla sauce or zabaione. Sprinkle icing sugar on top.
*To toast and skin hazelnuts: Heat the oven to 175 gr C (350 gr F). Spread the shelled nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the skins have begun to crack. Wrap the hot nuts in a clean kitchen towel and let stand 1 minute. Roll the nuts back and forth in the towel to loosen and rub off the skins. Not all the skins will come off, which is fine. Let cool before processing.