It was about 6-7 years ago when I discovered wonderful flavor of hazelnuts. It was my first visit to Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco. Their menu was full of all vegan choices and very creative names for all they offered. 'I Am Lusciously Awake' was the smoothie that had all my favorites - Hazelnut milk, Raw chocolate and Raw espresso. They make their coffee decoction using a very special equipment that does not use hot water. As you can imagine I just loved visiting that cafe every so often.
My friends took me to this same cafe for my birthday dinner couple of years ago. The dinner was amazing as usual. But then they told the waitress about the special occasion and they offered a raw chocolate brownie and guess what was in it? Yes!!! Same wonderful hazelnuts! After that I started looking for hazelnuts in the chocolate based dessert.
I saw vendors selling hazelnuts in various flavors in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. And I had to buy it. I got raw, toasted and maple sugar coated varieties. They all are to die for. I stored the raw nuts in freezer to keep them fresh. I wanted to use them in chocolate cake. My search for a perfect hazelnut chocolate cake recipe began immediately but somehow tapered down as I got more and more busy with day today chores. Then few days ago, I had to bake something for my friend's son as we were planning to visit them. I made The cooker's basic chocolate cake for him and that's when it struck to to use that recipe tweaking it to use hazelnut meal! Hurray. I made a loaf next week and then the cupcakes in few more weeks. My coworkers enjoyed the loaf cake and my friend's daughter enjoyed the cupcakes.
Here is the tweaked recipe -
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
0.5 Cup Toasted Hazelnut Meal (see note below)
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brewed Coffee (1 cup warm water + 1tbsp instant coffee)
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven for 375F.
Line the mini muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal, baking soda, salt. Make sure everything is mixed well.
Now add oil, brewed coffee, vanilla extract together. Mix well using food processor or whisk.
Add the mixed dry ingredients to the mixed oil-coffee mixture in two batches. Make sure everything is mixed well.
Add vinegar and mix quickly. Avoid over beating.
Fill the cupcake liners. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
It makes around 30 mini cupcakes or about 12-15 normal sized cupcakes.
Note - Layer 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and keep it in the oven for 15 minutes at 250F. Turn it in 7-8 minutes. Cool it for few minutes and pulse it in grinder to make hazelnut meal.
Nupur, what do you think about this as a dessert for your Blog Bites - Adaptation party?
- You can use almond, walnuts instead of hazelnuts.
- If you do not want to use coffee, just use plain water.