Nutella is fascinatingly one of the most successful brands in the world. It’s so universal that it has been the happy part of the childhoods of people from all angles of the world (or at least in the West). It is so universal that the brand is responsible for forming the association between hazelnut and chocolate. That’s my theory, at least. People say hazelnuts are reminiscent of chocolate, that when roasted, contain deep notes of cocoa. I say bullsh*t. You’re used to the two being together because of Nutella. When you have roasted hazelnuts on its own, you think it’s missing something – its long term partner chocolate.
So when I ate this cake I thought it was chocolatey, even though obviously it was absent of that. I wanted to take hazelnut away from its long-term partner and give it a love affair with cherries. I feel like chocolate is a bit too dominating for hazelnut sometimes, and a fling with cherries allows it to shine on its own.
Try this nice breakfast/anytime cake, very soft and moist and quite delicate. It reminds me of Italy. But maybe it’s because anything with hazelnuts reminds me of Nutella, which in turn reminds me of Italy. Nutella is brilliant. You may think it’s bad as it is filled with sugar and palm oil and whatnot, you can have your stupid opinions but you cannot deny the fact that it is brilliant as a brand.
100g hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and ground to powder (or buy hazelnut flour but the flavor won’t be as intense)
135g caster sugar
3 eggs, yolk and white separated
4g baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
200g cherries, pitted (can be frozen)
Preheat oven to 170C. Butter and line a loaf tin.
Mix the hazelnut and 110g of sugar together in a large bowl. With electric beaters, beat in the 3 yolks, one by one, until it becomes well amalgamated and sticky.
Add the salt, and sift in 50g of flour and the baking powder. Mix until combined before mixing in the butter.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then whisk in the remaining 15g of sugar.
Take one third of the egg white mixture and mix into the flour mixture. Then fold in the rest of the egg white in two inclusions.
Gently toss the cherries in the remaining 10g of flour then gently fold it into the batter.
Pour batter into tin and bake for about 45 minutes, or when a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.