Sunday Dinner

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Crunchy Grits-Fried Pickles with Ranch Dressing

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

This Sunday is a belated birthday dinner menu.  My husband celebrated a birthday this past week, so it was his turn to choose the menu--and a good one it is.  Especially since I had a little pork left in the freezer (takes a little of the Sunday dinner work load off of me).

I made this cake a couple months back for my father's birthday.  My husband wasn't able to join us for the celebration, so I thought this would be a good excuse to make it again.  But once you taste this cake, you will realize there is no need to have an excuse to make it.  The cake itself is made with Nutella and ground hazelnuts.  It is light and moist, but sturdy enough to hold the frosting.  The frosting is a basic cream cheese frosting with Nutella added.  It is lick-the-bowl good and takes the cake from delicious to ridiculous.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
serves 12-16

For the Cake
1/2 cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream

For the Frosting
1/2 cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup Nutella
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Chopped Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Candy Bar

For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F.  Spray a 9- x 13- inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the Nutella and vanilla, beating to combine.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/4 cup of the flour and hazelnuts.  Process until finely ground.  In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, ground hazelnut mixture, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Add the sour cream and beat until blened. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. 

For the Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and Nutella until well blended.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar.  Add the vanilla and salt and beat until blended.

Spread frosting on top of the cooled cake and garnish with chopped chocolate covered hazelnut candy bar pieces.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Southern Cakes, Spring 2013


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