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Thursday, May 19,2011

Hazelnut Chocolate Coffee Cake

By Danette Randall

 

I have been dreaming of this week’s dessert for a couple of months now. Yes, some people dream of money and fame (I mean world peace). Me, I dream of chocolate, butter and nuts all mixed together to form the perfect treat.

Thank goodness I got a request from one of my fabulous Weekly readers for a coffee cake that would not only be delicious, but travel well and impress the masses. Hazelnut Chocolate Coffee Cake is what we are doing, and honey, fuggetaboutit (I’m a New Yorker in my dreams, FYI). This is so good, and like many other sweet concoctions, works for breakfast, a snack or just good ol’ dessert.

Apparently, my requester wanted a New York-style coffee cake for a bake sale. She mentioned that every year it’s always full of cupcakes. I guess if cupcakes are the popular kids, then my coffee cake will be the rebel, the cheerleader versus the stoner, if you will. I’m proud my recipe will be front and center at the bake sale, nestled between the little goody-two-shoes cakes.

Now, I must make it taste so good the other treats will pale in comparison. Enter chocolate and hazelnut. That’s really all I need to say to make you run right out and purchase the ingredients. It’s a match made in heaven (or Long Island). Combine that with a tender sour cream cake batter, and you have one award-winning treat. I’m actually doing something in between a crumb cake and a coffee cake. Not as much topping as a crumb cake, but a tad more than a coffee cake, with a little hit of topping running through the center of it. One little tweak would be I’m baking in a bundt pan instead of a rectangular pan. This is mainly for presentation — you want pretty slices on display when going up against those little fluffy cakes laden with colorful frosting and sprinkles (they’re so 2009).

The hazelnuts are toasted to bring out their best. The chocolate aspect is in the topping, and not the actual cake batter. It gives it just the right amount needed to kick up the coffee cake and make it something special.

Must wake up now. In my dreams the Mets just beat the Rockies. Wait, I am awake. Coffee cake for everyone!

Now follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.

Hazelnut Chocolate Coffee Cake

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)

1 cup flour

2 tsp. cocoa powder

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (chopped)

Center

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. cocoa powder

1 tbsp. toasted hazelnuts (chopped)

Cake Batter

2-1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1-1/4 cups sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan (tube pan) with non-stick cooking spray. In small medium bowl, combine crumb topping ingredients. Mix well, set aside.

In small bowl, combine center ingredients. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift together and set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs and mix well. Stir in sour cream and vanilla, mix until batter is well-combined. Pour a little less than half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle your center mixture all over batter. Cover with remaining cake mix. Top with crumb mixture.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Take out and let cool completely. You can cut cake out of pan, or you can gently flip over onto serving platter and then place crumb side up. Lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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