Sunday, February 10, 2008

Blood Orange Hazelnut Cake

I would say that I was seduced mostly by the picture in the recipe book, Christmas Family Gatherings, which features recipes and ideas for Christmas. The picture looked so delicious, there were sugared cranberries and candied orange peel, and the cake contained blood orange juice, whose juice and pulp is reddish in colour, that I had the idea that the cake itself would turn out reddish in colour. Well, it didn't. I don't think my substitution of hazelnuts for the walnuts, and yoghurt for the sour cream, had anything to do with this, but I swear the cake looks reddish, and perhaps because of this tastier and more interesting, in the picture.

Regardless of my preconception of how it would taste, it did end up tasting good, the combination of blood orange and hazelnuts is quite different and interesting.

Blood Orange Hazelnut Cake
Adapted from a recipe in Christmas Family Gatherings
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp finely grated blood orange zest
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups self-rising cake flour
1/2 cup yoghurt (or sour cream)
1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar, blood orange zest and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour. Stir in the yoghurt, blood orange juice and hazelnuts.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and peel off the parchment. Let cool completely.

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