Saturday, January 1, 2011

Celebrate the new year
with Espresso-Hazelnut Sour Cream Cake

It’s the beginning of a new year, and I’ve got a scrumptious cake recipe to celebrate.
   Espresso-Hazelnut Sour Cream Cake (click for the recipe), created by Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade fame, is an absolute snap to prepare.
   Barring any major disaster, the recipe will work beautifully, yielding a lovely, moist cake that would be perfect at coffee or teatime.
   Although the recipe doesn’t suggest it, freshly-whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon would be a winning topping for individual servings of the cake – but it is also delicious without it.
   The cake reminded me a bit of Sticky Toffee Cake (without the sauce).
   Espresso-Hazelnut Sour Cream Cake will keep well at room temperature for about three days. After that, it will start to lose its flavor.
   The recipe I linked to above is from a Fox News website, but is exactly the same as the one I used. (You can also find the recipe in the Semi-Homemade: The Complete Cookbook.)
   On the website, you’ll need to scroll down until you find “Sour Cream Cake” and then the Espresso-Hazelnut variation.
   There are other suggested variations for the cake: Cherry-Almond, Strawberry-Poppyseed, Maple-Pecan, Tropical and Spice. I’m sure all would work well.
   Sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla are beaten together with an electric mixer. In another bowl, flour and baking powder are sifted together, and this mixture added to the sugar mixture alternately with sour cream.
   For the Espresso-Hazelnut variation, ¼ cup ground hazelnuts (filberts) are required. Hazelnuts can easily be ground up in a small food processor.
   The ground hazelnuts (filberts), chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella) and one tablespoon of espresso powder are added (you can find instant espresso powder, most often by Nescafe, in the coffee aisle of well-stocked supermarkets).
   The cake batter is poured in an eight-inch square pan and baked.

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