Before I get to the delicious cake, I want to tell you about the big news I was holding on to a while ago.
If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook, you might have heard me gushing about finally signing ‘the contract’.No, it’s not some corporate contract boohockey or a typical 9-5 job. This contract is my entry into the world I’ve only dreamed about until now. It’s a world full of butter, sugar and flour – a world I know I’m going to be happy in. Starting January 2010 I will work for a lovely, first-of-its-kind, startup French pâtisserie here in Bombay. Here, I’ll work with two absolutely amazing chefs from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. When I first baked with them, the day went by quickly and I lost complete track of time – that’s when I knew that this is my kind of place. The two of them are so professional and so much fun at the same time. I’m going to love it here!
I’m sure as hell going to miss orangefoodie and my friends at my current workplace, but I know this is one step closer to where I want to be. 5 years ago, when I learned about Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and got my hands on their brochures, I knew I had to study there – I just had to. Back then, my parents didn’t take my passion so seriously and thought my interests were as fleeting as summer, and cooking/baking for a living sounded absolutely ludicrous to them. Luckily, they are so much more supportive of the career switch now more than ever. I am so thrilled about this – my dream of baking for a living is finally becoming a reality.
Here’s a wonderfully moist chocolate hazelnut marbled cake that I made yesterday. I used Dorie Greenspan’s mocha walnut bundt cake recipe as a framework to create this cake. I substituted hazelnuts for walnuts and cocoa for espresso. While recipes usually call for milk at room temperature, I’ve noticed that using warm or hot milk is important for producing really soft cakes that makes all the difference. Don’t be scared, the hot milk won’t cook the eggs. My mom wolfed down most of the cake and asked for more to take for my grandmom.
Adapted from: Baking From My Home to Yours -Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 1 large bundt cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F/160C. Butter a 10 inch bundt pan or a loaf pan and dust the inside with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
- Whisk together the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder and salt.
- In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt 2 tbsp butter with cocoa and chocolate. Heat until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar for about 3-4 minutes – this will look like a thick paste.
- Beat the eggs in one at a time, until the mixture looks smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
- Now either on a reduced speed, or by folding in by hand, add the flour and hot milk alternately, starting and finishing off with flour (so, flour-milk-flour-milk-flour)
- Now take a little less than half the flour and mix it with the chocolate mixture that you set aside earlier. Stir till it is thoroughly blended – don’t overdo it.
- What I did was add the white mixture then the chocolate mixture and then the white mixture again into the bundt pan and then run a knife through it once or twice for very visibly distinct two layers. For a pronounced marbled look, stir the knife through the batter a few more times.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the knife comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so before unmoulding.
- Slice and eat! It’s lovely with some mascarpone dusted with caster sugar or some chocolate sauce.