It's nearly the end of my using up odds and ends from my baking cupboard - not much left to use up now. I found a bag of ground hazelnuts bought for some recipe or other and only half a bag used, so what to make?
I fancied a cake of some kind, something plain, so had a browse through my cuttings folder and found a recipe from 'Family Circle' magazine, one I used to buy regularly till they stopped printing it.
One ingredient I found intriguing was skimmed milk powder. Why did the recipe use this? I did a bit of research and found that it's often used in bread and cakes to give a softer and more even crumb.
Preheat oven 160C/gas3 Grease and line a 20cm square tin [or a 28 x 18cm tin if you prefer]
Put 75g ground hazelnuts [or grind them yourself ]. 175 skimmed milk powder, 1 tbspn cocoa powder and 190g light brown sugar into a bowl and mix together.
Melt 100g butter in a pan over a low heat, then pour over the hazelnut mixture in the bowl. Mix together well. Add 3 beaten eggs.
Spoon the mixture into the tin, level the top and scatter over 35g chopped hazelnuts.
Bake for 1 - 11/4 hours then cool on a wire rack.
For the sauce - put 125ml double cream into a pan over a very low heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Take it off the heat and add 115g dark chocolate broken up into small pieces. Stir together till melted.
Serve the sauce with the cake, either poured over or separately.
This made a great dessert. The cake texture was lovely and soft, but with a good hazelnut flavour. The crunchy hazelnuts on top added another texture, and the sauce made it so rich and decadent. The cake on its own would be great with a cuppa.