I’m not sure whether this cake should be filed under “small cake” or “big cookie”. I’ve seen people complain (about a similar cake, on other sites) that it is actually a big cookie. Well, the title did claim it was, well, cake… I guess that led them to develop some, you know, expectations. However and nonetheless, why complain about such a thing? On the other hand, all this business could have been prevented had the cake been titled correctly.
My mantra is: all disappointments grow out of expectations. If one’s expectations are set straight then there will be no (major) disappointments or frustrations. Right? Certainly not about a cake that turns out looking like a big cookie!
So, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about this lil’ cake/giant cookie. Maybe we’ll call it something new: a cakookie? Would that do?
Anyway… This cakookie is perfect to nibble on when the mood strikes all of a sudden. When one is in desperate need of a piece cake, or a cookie, like… RIGHT NOW. Especially on an average weekday, or weeknight. Or weekend. Especially when it’s rainy and blue.
It is also the perfect cakookie if you’re on a diet! Yes. Because you might want to have cake and eat it too! But you don’t want leftovers sitting around the house for days and days, tempting you, alluring you, winking at you like little devils, “eat me, eat me” and this exactly what happens when you’re dealing with a 9 to 10-inch size cake. Unless you’re sharing.
(Pssstt… Has anyone noticed I said “leftover cake”?)
The hazelnut chocolate lil’ cake presented to you hear is a variation on this walnut cake. I think hazelnuts and chocolate are the perfect match+ throw in a handful of walnuts for some crunch… Perfect-er!
Chocolate hazelnut cake/giant cookie
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound hazelnut meal, lightly toasted*
1 handful chocolate chunks
1 handful chopped walnuts, lightly toasted, optional
1 cup all-purpose flour
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper, grease it too.
Place the butter in a food processor with the sugar and process until creamy. Add the egg, rum, vanilla, and baking powder and pulse until you have a uniform paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Fold the hazelnut meal, chocolate, and walnuts into the butter mixture with a spatula. Sift the flour in small amounts over the batter and fold together. When all the flour is incorporated, pour the batter into the cake pan, leveling it off with a spatula.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, then test the center of the cake with a toothpick. If it comes out dry, the cake is done. If not, bake 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and remove the sides of the pan. After the cake has cooled a bit, invert it onto a plate and carefully lift off the pan base and peel off the parchment paper. Invert once again and place on a serving plate.
NOTES: you can use whole hazelnuts instead of hazelnut meal and toast them, peel, and grind to make a meal. I find that the cost ends up pretty much the same and buying a meal in the first place is a terrific shortcut!
To toast whole nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. Toast in a 350 degrees F oven for 5-6 minutes.
I toast the hazelnut meal in a skillet or toaster oven—watch it closely—for a few minutes over low heat.