I have been loving Julia Turshen's beautiful new cookbook Small Victories. The picture of her free-form Raspberry Jam Buns with Crème Fraîche Frosting sold me on the whole project immediately. Along with the lovely images, it's full of smart tips and recipes I want to make right now. I'm such a fan. So I was thrilled when she asked me if I would participate in her campaign for No Kid Hungry this year.
I'm sharing the recipe for her easy-as-pie Afternoon Cake, a tender citrus-hazelnut beauty, which I've topped with the decadent chocolate sour cream frosting from her Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake. Julia says that "if you have the privilege of eating however much you want whenever you want, you should spend some time ensuring that others have the same opportunity." I agree, and I hope that if you do too, you will consider making a donation to this worthy cause. Here's to a happy holiday season for everyone! Click here to help!
Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
From Julia Turshen's Small Victories (Chronicle Books)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 orange plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, nuts, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until the whites and yolks are full combined. Add the olive oil and granulated sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved (test by rubbing some of the mixture between two fingers). Whisk in the vanilla, orange zest, and orange juice. Whisk in the flour mixture.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, being sure to use a rubber spatula to get it all out of the bowl. Hold the pan just a little bit above the counter and then drop it on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles.
4. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the cake, still in it’s pan, to a wire rack and let it cool completely. Once cool, use a dinner knife to loosen the edges and invert it onto a rack. Discard the parchment. Let it cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Put the chocolate chips in a large stainless-steel or heatproof glass bowl and set it over the pot. (The water should not touch the bowl – if it does, simply pour some out.) Stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and maple syrup. Set it aside to cool. It will thicken as it cools. Frost your cake and enjoy!