Rich Chocolate Cake with Salted Bourbon Cajeta & Hazelnut Brittle
This weekend was my brother’s birthday and housewarming party as he just bought a condo within New York City. To celebrate these two fortuitous occasions, I had to bake a cake that’s decadent and delicious. Knowing my brother, he likes complex flavors, dark chocolate and nuts. So, I don’t see an issue baking and serving this gorgeous rich chocolate cake with salted bourbon cajeta and hazelnut brittle.
It is an over-the-top chocolate cake but the best thing is, it’s not sweet because the moist cake itself is deep, dark and rich chocolate flavors from the unsweetened cocoa powder and my strong coffee I brew in the morning. I swapped out the yogurt for labne (think a super thick, richer version of Greek yogurt or sour cream) from Karoun Dairies to get extra moisture and richness to the cake.
Rich Chocolate Cake with Salted Bourbon Cajeta and Hazelnut Brittle
Adapted from One Girl Cookies
For the cake
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I swapped the yogurt for Karoun Dairies‘ labne for extra richness)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
Hazelnut Brittle (recipe below)
1/2 cup cajeta (I used Fat Toad Farm Salted Bourbon)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (not necessary if you are using salted cajeta or caramel sauce)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by greasing it with cooking spray and then lining the bottom with parchment paper.
2. To make the cake, pour the hot coffee into a medium bowl and stir in the cocoa powder until it dissolves. Stir in the brown sugar, followed by the yogurt and the vanilla. Stir thoroughly to ensure that all of the ingredients are incorporated.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light-yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture and half of the coffee mixture. Scrape down the bowl. Add another third of the flour mixture and all the remaining coffee mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
5. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a clean plate, remove the parchment, and turn the cake back over onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely.
6. In a food processor, pulse the brittle pieces 3 to 4 times until the brittle is in small chunks or powdery, depending upon your preference.
7. Put the cooled cake on a serving dish. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the cajeta on high power for 30 seconds, or until it is just liquid. Spoon the cajeta over the cake, and then sprinkle the kosher salt over the cajeta. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the ground brittle around the outer edge of the cake as a delicious decoration.
1/2 cup whole unsalted hazelnuts, skins removed
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool.
3. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Continue whisking constantly until the syrup is a rich amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the hazelnuts and then pour the contents of the pan onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into a thin layer. Let the brittle cool completely.