Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I believe Winter may be having an identity crisis...
I expected frosty mornings and rain drenched nights with nothing but leaden gray smothering the sky. What I got instead was, for all intensive purposes, Spring. I'm not the only one who thinks so, the blossom trees were in full bloom weeks before Winter's end and fruit that normally ripens in September's embrace are already lining grocer's shelves. I feel I may have to change my thoughts on what a 'season' is...
The fact that the last weeks of Winter have been nothing but blue skies and sunshine - the kind of days where a t-shirt will suffice for warmth and an ice cream savoured on a park bench seems the thing to do, sent me into a 'Winter baking' frenzy. Recipes I'd decided were best eaten on cold nights with hot drinks were pulled out and lined up ready to be transmogrified from paper to plate before the last drop of rain dried on the pavement and the first blackbird laid its eggs. There was one recipe that found its way to the top of that pile. A cake made of luscious vanilla-flecked browned butter, toasty hazelnuts and seductive dark chocolate; a cake meant for Winter...
prep time: 30mins.
cooking time: 35mins to cook plus 30mins cooling.
total: 1hour & 35mins.
taste: 4/5 (hubby says 4.5). Chocolate & hazelnut bliss.
I cannot described this cake any better than the quote pictured above - it is all those things in one.
The cake itself flirts with sweetness without diving in. The hazelnuts give it character and adds a wonderful slight crunch to the moist cake that is laced with vanilla-kissed browned butter. The draping dark chocolate with a hint of coffee adds depth and a little bitterness that gives this cake an edge. It's a cake a man can enjoy as much as a woman without feeling he is eating something that's too 'girly.'
would I make it again: Yes. Everyone enjoyed it, even those who don't normally like cakes. It also kept quite well unrefrigerated.