Sunday, 27 May 2012

Hazelnut & Cinnamon Cake with Chocolate Streusel

Between having the kitchen taken over by plumbers performing emergency surgery on the hot water and heating system, and the rush to catch up with gardening jobs now that it's drier and warmer, there hasn't been much time for baking during the last week or so.

But I've got the kitchen back now, and have also been handed a project by FB, so there's no excuse (except the extreme heat) for avoiding it any longer. Not that I think baking is something to be avoided - I spent ages last week looking at the bakery shelves in the supermarkets, thinking either that things were too expensive to buy, or were too small to be worth the money asked for, or that I could make similar things much better. I played safe with muffins in the end - relatively cheap and I'm safe in the knowledge that CT often prefers commercial muffins to my home-baked ones, so he'd be happy, at least!

FB is moving on to a new job soon, and has promised a cake for her colleagues when she hands in her notice (and another when she leaves, no doubt!). She said she had thought up the idea of a cinnamon flavoured cake with a chocolate and hazelnut topping, and was quite miffed when I showed her that this idea wasn't original!

I didn't have any buttermilk, so decided that I'd have a trial run using the very adaptable Annie Bell recipe, which has been so useful in the past. I left out the lemon, and flavoured the cake with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of cocoa, and substituted 50g ground hazelnuts for the same weight of flour. Then I sprinkled over a crumble topping made by mixing 55g melted butter with 50g flour, 50g light muscovado sugar, 20g cocoa and 25g finely chopped toasted hazelnuts.  This makes a solid dough, which is then crumbled over the raw cake batter before baking - it usually works much better than a dry crumble mix, but in this case it sort of melted into the surface, and didn't look like a streusel topping!

This was a really well flavoured, light textured cake, but there are several things which need improving before FB can take it into work. The first is to increase the amount of topping, to give a complete streusel covering, and perhaps go back to a dry crumb mix. The chocolate flavour needs strengthening too - use chopped chocolate instead of, or as well as, the cocoa, maybe. There also needs to be more cinnamon in the cake mix - at least another teaspoon. Other than that, I'm pleased with the first version of this flavour combination, using this particular recipe.


Foodycat said...

It sounds like a great combination of flavours! I've started to grind my own cinnamon in the spice grinder for things like this; it has a much more intense flavour.

Suelle said...

That's interesting, Foodycat - I was reading only recently that cinnamon is the one spice that's recommended to be bought ready ground, as the bark is so difficult to grind. That might have been written pre-electric grinder days though - it might not break down well in a pestle and mortar!

Baking Addict said...

I love how you're so creative with your recipes. The flavour combination sounds delicious. Look forward to seeing your next attempt :)

Katie said...

Sounds wonderful and I love the fact that some of the topping has worked its way into the cake mix - don't try and change that!
You can never have enough cinnamon :)

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Interesting combination of flavours - sounds really good. I'm all for increasing the chocolate flavour but I think the topping looks really good as it is, even though it's not quite what you had in mind.

laura@howtocookgoodfood said...

Hi there,so sorry about the photo for WSC. Would you be able to send me it again and I will replace it this evening.
I do love cakes with a streusel topping like this one and like a thick layer of it too :-)

Suelle said...

Thanks Laura - I've emailed the correct photo to the WSC email address, as I couldn't find a contact address for you on your blog.