You know I love chocolate…but, did you know I am not a super fan of Hazelnuts? Hazelnut seems to be a trendy flavor these past few years, and this recipe makes a decadent cake with a topping of Hazelnut Spread (aka Nutella) and is helping to change my opinion!
I love finding recipes that are perfect as they are, and want to be sure to give credit where credit is due. This is not my recipe, but worth sharing! I started another online learning class through Stuido.com with Claire Saffitz, not just to expand some baking knowledge but to have peers helping to keep me motivated and baking a few times a week. Her recipes give you a ‘Road map’ so you can tweak a recipe to your own liking, and the options are endless. Great foundations for future bakes that I make my own. This is her recipe, but of course I had to turn it into a Bundt cake!!
If you prefer a standard loaf cake, and don’t have a plain loaf bundt pan, this recipe works in either beautifully.
Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan and line the bottom and two longer sides with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang and smoothing to eliminate air bubbles.
Set the pan aside.
Toast and chop the nuts:
Toast the hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet until they’re golden brown and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Transfer the hazelnuts to a cutting board and let cool completely, then coarsely chop them.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the chopped hazelnuts for the top of the cake.
Mix the dry ingredients:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and espresso powder (if using) to combine.
Cream the butter and sugar:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, (or a large bowl, with a hand mixer), combine the butter and sugar and beat on low until smooth, then increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat, scraping down the sides once or twice, until the mixture is very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla:
Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat on medium-high until the mixture is very light and thick, about 1 minute.
Beat in the vanilla.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
Alternate the dry and wet ingredients:
Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the flour has almost disappeared.
Add half of the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated,
Then add the remaining flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the remaining buttermilk.
When the last traces of flour disappear, stop the mixer and use a flexible spatula to scrape down the sides and fold the batter several times to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
Add 3 ounces of the chocolate and the chopped hazelnuts (except for the reserved 2 tablespoons) to the batter and fold until the pieces are distributed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth in an even layer all the way to the sides.
Bake until the cake is risen and split and a cake tester or skewer inserted into the tallest part of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the Bundt pan for 10 minutes, then invert to continue cooling until completely cooled. (If using a standard metal pan, let cool completely in the pan. Then cut around the shorter sides with a paring knife or small offset spatula, then use the parchment to lift the cake out of the pan.)
Make the topping:
Melt the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, either in the microwave (zap it in 15-second bursts, stirring in between) or in a double boiler (to make the double boiler, set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water and stir).
Add the chocolate hazelnut spread and stir until smooth, then spread the mixture over the cooled cake, working it to the edges and letting it drip down the sides.
Sprinkle the surface with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts and refrigerate the cake just until the chocolate topping is set.
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