Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TWD - Hazelnut/Nutella/Vanilla Cakes

Here we are again with another Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. This weeks recipe is Rum-drenched Vanilla Cakes that Wendy of Pink Stripes picked. Please be sure to drop by her blog and check out the great pictures of her version...yummy!

I had every intention of making this as the recipe is written. That is my usual routine. I don't often vary from the instructions. I am not that adventurous. At least not when it comes to baking. But, I guess the past year or so that I have been baking with TWD has loosened me up a bit. I have come to realize, mostly from reading the posts of other TWD bakers, that it is not only okay to vary from the recipe, sometimes it can be fun.

Take this recipe. As I mentioned, I was going to play it safe and make this as Dorie suggests. However, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the dark rum...I stumbled upon a bottle of hazelnut syrup I had in the pantry. That made me go "hmmmm". I know the hubby isn't crazy about rum in baked goods. I have tried it a couple of times and he says he can taste it and doesn't like it. So, when I saw the bottle of hazelnut syrup I thought "why not?". In addition to the syrup I decided to toast some hazelnuts I had and add them to the batter.

I followed the recipe exactly for everything else, only I halved it and baked just one cake rather than two. I had some vanilla sugar on hand that I made a while back with some vanilla beans I had and I used it in the recipe.

The cake came together so easily. Not many dishes. And, I liked that I could whip it up by hand and not use the big mixer.

I loved how wonderful it smelled while it was baking. I did have to tent it after about 30 minutes of baking as it seemed to be browning rather quickly.

When it was out of the oven I poked holes all over with a wooden skewer and then brushed about 1/3 cup of the hazelnut syrup over the top. Then I was struck with a ingenious idea...Nutella!! I got out my jar (I always have a jar on hand) and spread a little over the top of the still warm cake.

The verdict? The flavor was fabulous...nutty and buttery with the flavor of vanilla mingling throughout. The texture was terrific. A nice tight crumb, moist and tender. The crust around the edges and sides had a nice crunch to it. I ate a small slice and then decided that I should eat another one, just to be sure it really was okay. :)

I can see making this one again. Next time I will bake two loaves. Swing by TWD and see what everyone else thought of this one.

25 comments:

  1. What a fantastic variation! Your cake looks wonderful.

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  2. You are pure genuis, Susan. I never would have thought of that. I have to start being more daring. It will be more fun.

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  3. LOL--it can be dangerous when you start down the path of "one more piece to see if you really like it." I'm pretty sure this cake would be dangerous in my kitchen. Hazelnut sounds wonderful!

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  4. Somehow I just knew there would be those who would chocolate-this-up a bit...the temptation was just too great. Your combination with the hazelnut syrup and the nuts with this sounds very nice...it would be a hit here as well with the guys. Looks beautiful.

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  5. "...a funny thing happened to me on the way to the dark rum..."

    It's funny how that can happen sometimes. :D
    Hazelnut and vanilla, that sounds amazing! Brilliant twist on the recipe.

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  6. Sounds and looks great. Maybe I'll crawl out of bed and get baking.

    P.S. My secret....I've NEVER had Nutella before...is that odd?

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  7. Everything is better with Nutella! Great job!

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  8. I love the idea of smearing Nutella over the top. Yum! This look delicious :)

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  9. Nutella? Did someone say Nutella?!

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  10. Hazelnut syrup sounds delicious, and you can't beat Nutella.

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  11. mmm nutella, great addition!

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  12. I love the changes you made!

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  13. Yay for experimenting! I'm glad it turned out so well (but how could Nutella be bad--it can't!)

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  14. Thanks for the idea. I have several bottles of flavored syrup and never think to use them. Irish Cream. Hazelnut. Strawberry, etc.

    Looks delicious.

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  15. This recipe definitely cried out for a nutty component. Hazelnut syrup is an awesome addition. Well done! You deserved that second slice.

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  16. Omg! I love your variation. How can hazelnut/nutella be bad? I think I would even add Frangelico to get sone boozy hazelnut flavor. Thanks for baking along with me!

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  17. Hazelnut syrup and Nutella? Now that is a version I've got to try!

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  18. What a creative version! It sounds delicious.

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  19. Your variation turn out terrific.
    Mimi

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  20. Being that I hardly ever follow a recipe as written, YAY for you. And seriously, BEST variation I've seen today! Holy yum, Nutella and hazelnuts--brilliant.

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  21. Oh my goodness, Nutella was a great idea. Always. I can see making this one again, too, so delicious.

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  22. I didn't get to this one this week. But when I do make it, I just may follow your advice. Nutella is SO GOOD!

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  23. love the nutella on top- genius!

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  24. I think this cake is so good you could put anything with it including something savory and it would be delish! Looks beautiful and who doesn't love nutella?
    AmyRuth

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Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.