Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Roasted Hazelnut and White Chocolate Coffee Cake

One of the many joys of home baking is that any recipe, however simple and however traditional affords the opportunity to experiment. Take this coffee cake for example. Now I love a good coffee cake as much as the next gentleman, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for just a little tweaking here and there. This time I've used a handful of ground roasted hazelnuts to add a lovely roasty toastiness and enriched the whole thing with finely chopped white chocolate. Ok ok, I admit the white chocolate may be entirely necessary, but in my eyes that makes it even more fundamental!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 55-60 Mins
100g Roasted Hazelnuts
200g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
200g Golden Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
110g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
3tbsp Strong Black Coffee (Cooled to room temperature)
1tsp Vanilla Extract
150g White Chocolate (As finely chopped as you can)

So let us retire to the kitchen once more. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 20cm deep, loose bottomed baking tin and line completely with baking paper. Grind the hazelnuts as finely as you can, but stop when they start to release their oils and become claggy. I use a mini food processor for this. Once ground set to one side whilst you prepare the rest of the mixture.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and lightly fold through. Add the coffee and vanilla, followed by the ground nuts and mix until evenly combined. Finally, throw in the white chocolate and fold through, before spooning into your prepared tin. Even to the edges, then bake in the centre of the oven for around 55-60 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake.

When you are happy the cake is baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for around 30 minutes, before very carefully turning out onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely and you are ready to serve. Lucky you!

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