As always in our house Autumn brings cooler weather and a spate of baking as I give in to a seemingly never ending demand for cake. As long as there is no request for fancy decoration I’m always happy to oblige. Naked, rustic offerings being my particular forte.
This coffee cake was an easy collaboration of the contents of my pantry. Jars of my mother’s home-made jam and bags of hazelnuts. I had envisaged throwing a handful of two of my favourite new food obsession cacao nibs into the crumble topping but sadly the packet was empty. A return visit by our elusive pantry raider Mr or Ms Nobody perhaps? No matter I used dutch process cocoa powder instead. The result? Gorgeous but very rustic. A true reflection of what Autumn baking should be about.
Hazelnut Coffee Cake With A Sour Cherry Jam Swirl And Chocolate Crumble
For the Cake Batter
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 pinch salt
125g (1 1/4 cups) self raising flour
110g (1 cup) ground hazelnut meal
30ml strong espresso coffee, cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Jam Swirl
1/2 cup sour cherry jam
For the Chocolate Crumble
50g butter, chilled and diced
4 tablespoons caster sugar
4 tablespoons self raising flour
2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (40g) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
PREHEAT the oven to 180 C. Butter a 20cm square cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
TO MAKE THE CRUMBLE TOPPING, using your fingertips, rub together the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the coarsely chopped hazelnuts and set aside.
IN A MEDIUM bowl combine ground hazelnut meal with self raising flour. Set aside.
BEAT the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
ADD egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
STIR through vanilla and cooled espresso coffee. Then fold in the hazelnut and flour mixture until just combined.
IN ANOTHER bowl, whisk the egg whites with salt until they form soft peaks.Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
SPOON the batter into the prepared tin. Dollop jam all over the surface, then swirl into the batter with a spoon.
SPRINKLE chocolate crumble in an even layer over the top of the cake.
BAKE in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, until golden and well risen. A wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean and sides begin to pull away from the pan. Leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes before turning out and cutting into squares.