Orange Hazelnut Cake

Many months ago, the lovely Suzana of Home Gourmets sent me a cookbook featuring recipes from the Alps for a little giveaway she did coinciding with her trip to Slovenia. (Thanks again so much, Suzana! I love it!) Still, many months ago, I read it through and marked a few recipes I wanted to try. It wasn’t until this week that I actually tried one of them.

I took the original recipe for a walnut cake and transformed it into an orange hazelnut cake. I thought the flavors were fitting for the winter, but ironically we’ve been having very spring-like weather here in New York! I’m not complaining at all though, and if you know me at all, you know I’d pick hot and humid weather over the cold any day. I guess that’s just the Houston gal in me.

And right now this Houston gal is at the airport waiting to board my delayed plane. Tim and I are spending the long weekend visiting my parents. However ya’ll are spending the weekend, I hope ya’ll enjoy!

Orange Hazelnut Cake
adapted from Cuisine of the Alps by Kay Shaw Nelson

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sour milk
1/2 cup hazelnut paste
grated peel of orange
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
splash of Cointreau

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.Grease a bundt baking pan.
2. In a large bowl cream the butter. Add 1 cup of the sugar and the eggs; blend well.
3. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. 4. Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture, alternating with the sour milk. Mix well.
5. Stir in hazelnut paste and orange rind. Mix to combine thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan.
6. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into cake comes out clean.
7. Meanwhile, make a thick syrup by boiling together 1 1/2 cups sugar with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice for 15 minutes. Add in a splash of Cointreau.
8. Pour over the cake while it is still warm. Turn off oven and return cake to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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