This cake is made from my generic cake recipe, which is basically a Madeira cake. It lends itself to all sorts of additions and variations, and is a sturdy, reliable cake-tin filler. The flavour combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is one of the Chief Tester's favourites, and I can't believe I haven't made this cake since I started writing the blog.
The use of a little brown sugar and cocoa adds some colour to the cake batter, as well as enhancing the flavour of the hazelnuts; the ground nuts help keep the cake moist. I prefer to use a chopped bar of chocolate rather than chips, as I like the appearance of randomly shaped chunks in the cake.
175g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
190g SR flour
60g ground hazelnuts
1/2 tablespoon cocoa
3 large eggs
a little milk, as necessary
40g chopped toasted hazelnuts
75g plain chocolate, coarsely chopped or in chips - I used 85% cocoa solids
Notes - I would usually add more chopped nuts, but these were already very finely chopped and 40g looked enough when I was weighing out the ingredients. The amount of chocolate can be increased too - I often add up to 150g, depending on what I have available, and of course it's OK to use chocolate with less cocoa solids. I was feeling frugal after some recent extravagances! The cocoa is to enhance the nut flavour, not to make the batter chocolate flavoured (a Dan Lepard tip!).
Preheat the oven to 170C, prepare an 8" diameter round tin. [I base-line a springform tin with a circle of silicone liner.]
Sift the SR flour and cocoa together and whisk in the ground hazelnuts to distribute evenly.
Cream the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with a teaspoon of the flour mix to prevent curdling.
Fold in the flour, in three batches, adding a little milk if necessary to give a soft dropping consistency.
Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface. Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until the cake is done when tested.
Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to complete the cooling.