An Italian cake recipe bursting with hazelnut flavor. It’s drizzled with a chocolate-y topping full of coffee and Frangelico and then topped with hazelnuts.
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Well, folks. The Rustic Foodie is officially one year old! To celebrate my 1 year Blogiversary I decided to bake myself a cake. Because food blogging is hard. And I deserve a cake. I didn’t just bake any old cake, though. I baked one of my all-time favorite cakes. It is a recipe I came across years ago – titled Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake in The New York Times Dessert Cookbook after receiving the book as a Christmas gift. It’s not over-the-top sweet or sinfully indulgent – it’s just the right balance of earthy nuttiness that’s complemented with a chocolate topping spiked with coffee and Frangelico. The author of this recipe – Florence Fabricant – did an amazing job when she concocted it because it’s downright delicious. I tweaked it ever so slightly but it’s one of those recipes that doesn’t need tweaking. It’s just that good.
This is one of those recipes that seems a lot fancier and more complicated than it really is. I prefer to bake recipes that are easy-ish and I am officially the world’s messiest baker (I think my husband would agree). This is one of those ‘totally do-able but feels like you made something really fancy’ desserts. The first step is to heat the oven to 350 degrees. Next you’ll want to butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup AP flour, 1/2 cup of finely chopped hazelnuts, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and a pinch of kosher salt. You can chop the hazelnuts in a small food processor to get the consistency you want (or place them in a plastic bag and whack them with a rolling pin if you want to get some aggression out). The original recipe does not call for almond flour but I thought the addition of it would help reinforce that nutty flavor. (If you can’t find almond flour simply substitute it with regular AP flour). Simply mix all of these ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, cream 4 Tbsp. of room-temperature butter. Add 1 cup of sugar to the butter and cream together. Now add 2 eggs – 1 at a time. Beat the mixture after you add each egg. The next step is to fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture a little at a time. Add some of the flour, mix together and repeat until it is completely combined. The batter is thick and dense. Now spread the batter evenly in the buttered and floured cake pan.
Pop the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The recipe calls for a bake time of 40 minutes but mine was finished in 35. I would say check it at 35 minutes and bake longer if needed. Poke the cake with a toothpick to check for done-ness. The toothpick will come out clear when done.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. The chocolate sauce that gets poured over the top of the cake. This is the stuff of dreams, I’m telling you. Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a double boiler. Once the butter is melted add 2 1/2 ounces. semi-sweet chocolate. Melt the chocolate and stir until combined. Remove from heat and let the chocolate mixture come to room temperature. The next step is to add 2 Tbsp. of brewed coffee or espresso and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Frangelico. Frangelico is an Italian hazelnut liqueur and it is incredible. If you like hazelnuts, you will love Frangelico. Stir all of these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the cake from the pan and place it on cake stand or plate or serving platter. Pour all of the chocolate sauce over the cake and spread to coat the entire surface of the cake. It will drizzle down the edges of the cake. Now sprinkle 1/2 cup of roughly chopped hazelnuts over the chocolate sauce. That’s all there is to it. This cake is all about the hazelnut – the hazelnut flavor totally permeates the cake.
There is much more to food blogging than meets the eye. Cooking, writing, and photography are just the tip of the iceberg. If you are a food blogger you must be well-versed in the following areas: social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), accounts and financing, data analysis, website security, product marketing, website design, and much more. There are tears, there is profanity, and then there are the small victories that keep you going. And it lets you do things like bake delicious cakes and share them with awesome people.
Pottery by Bill Gossman.
An Italian cake recipe bursting with hazelnut flavor. It's drizzled with a chocolate-y topping full of coffee and Frangelico and then topped with hazelnuts.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
Finely chop 1/2 cup hazelnuts in a food processor.
Combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and pinch of salt in bowl. Stir to combine.
In another bowl, combine 4 Tbsp. room temperature butter and cream. Add 1 cup sugar and cream together. Add 2 eggs - 1 at a time. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Stir and combine as you add the dry ingredients. The batter will be dense and heavy.
Spread the batter evenly in pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clear. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the chocolate topping: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Stir until combined. Set aside and let come to room temperature.
Add 2 Tbsp. brewed coffee or espresso and 1 1/2 Tbsp. Frangelico. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Remove cake from pan and place on serving surface (you may need to run knife along sides of pan to remove). Pour the chocolate mixture over the cake and spread to coat evenly.
Add 1/2 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts on top of the cake.
If you can't find almond flour, simply substitute it with regular AP flour.